Helicopter crash in Turkey kills six

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

File:Kahramanmaraş Turkey Provinces locator.gif

City and province of Kahramanmaraş
Image: Florenco .
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

On Wednesday, Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu, leader of the Great Union Party (Büyük Birlik Partisi – BBP), died in a helicopter crash that claimed six lives.

The helicopter crashed in a mountainous region near the city of Kahramanmaraş, and rescue efforts were hampered by stormy weather.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, related that 2,000 personnel had assisted in the search and rescue to locate the downed helicopter. Thick fog compounded by a snow blizzard hampered efforts.

Ismail Gunes, an Ihlas News Agency cameraman, called an emergency line on his cell phone after the crash. He reported that the others on board appeared dead, and he himself was trapped with a broken foot.

Rescue workers found the crash site three days after it went down. All 6 people on board had perished.

Yazicioglu had departed from a pre-election rally held at Kahramanmaraş. Subsequent campaigning for Sunday's election was suspended in light of this incident.

"May his soul rest in peace. I am expressing my condolences to all his family members and the community," said the Minister of Justice, Mehmet Ali Şahin.