Turkey mourns helicopter crash victims
ANKARA - Daily News with wires
DHA photoTurkey has held a funeral ceremony for 12 soldiers killed in a helicopter crash near Kabul, the Associated Press reported.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was among hundreds of mourners honoring the victims in the somber ceremony on Tuesday. Religious ceremonies were also held in mosques.
The Sikorsky helicopter crashed into a house near the Afghan capital March 16, killing the 12 soldiers on board and four Afghan civilians on the ground. It was the deadliest incident involving Turkish soldiers in Afghanistan.
NATO said there was no enemy activity in the area and the cause of the crash is under investigation.
Turkey has about 1,800 troops in Afghanistan and leads NATO operations in Kabul province. The force has suffered relatively few casualties because of its noncombat role.
Dismissing opposition calls for a review of Turkey’s involvement in Afghanistan, a senior Justice and Development Party (AKP) official said the soldiers had died in “an accident that could have happened in Turkey” and not in combat action against the Afghan people.