Minister, women NGOs visit Gaziantep attack victims
Erdinç Çelikkan - GAZİANTEP
Hürriyet chairwoman Vuslat Doğan Sabancı and Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya listen to a woman wounded in an ISIL attack on a wedding in the southeastern province of Gaziantep at a hospital in the province.A group including Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya and daily Hürriyet chairwoman Vuslat Doğan Sabancı has visited the southeastern province of Gaziantep one week after a deadly suicide attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targeted a street wedding.
The group visited the wounded and families of those killed in the attack, which claimed a total of 55 lives, the majority of whom were children, while wounding 93 others. The treatment of 40 people was still ongoing.
Doğan Sabancı, lawyer Kezban Hatemi, Women and Democracy Association (KADEM) head Sare Aydın, Turkish Business Women’s Association (TİKAD) head Nilüfer Bulut, academic Prof. Deniz Ülke Arıboğan, Hürriyet columnist Fatih Çekirge and former Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmaker Mehmet Emin Ekmen arrived in Gaziantep on Aug. 28 along with other prominent figures.
‘Support against terror strengthens us’
The group was welcomed by a delegation headed by Gaziantep Mayor Fatma Şahin, a former family and social policies minister, and initially visited the family of Specialized Sgt. Ercan Çelik, who was killed in the Euphrates Shield operation in a rocket attack by the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
The group then headed to meet Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek, Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, AKP Secretary General Abdülhamit Gül, AKP Gaziantep deputies Ahmet Uzer, Mehmet Erdoğan, Nejat Koçer and Canan Candemir Çelik and Gaziantep Industry Chamber Chairman Adil Konukoğlu to pass their condolences.
During the visit, Doğan Sabancı and accompanying businesswomen gave the message that they stood with Gaziantep in the face of terror attacks.
Şahin said, “The support they received against terror from different groups strengthened them and they will move forward on the path of democracy all together.”
Meanwhile, Hürriyet photojournalist Selçuk Şamiloğlu, who was attacked during the July 15 failed coup attempt in Istanbul, described the events that unfolded that day.
Şamiloğlu was badly beaten on the Bosphorus Bridge on July 16.
The delegation then moved on with Kaya and Şahin to visit those wounded in the ISIL suicide attack who have been receiving treatment in hospital. The minister and the businesswomen visited the wounded in their rooms, gave them flowers and toys.
Kaya and the accompanying delegation also visited Damla Yıldırım, a five-year-old who was injured in the suicide attack to give her gifts and toys.
In addition, the group talked to the doctors in order to obtain information on the health status of the wounded.