Disaster in southeast Turkey: eleven soldiers die in a helicopter crash

Misfortune in southeast Turkey

Eleven soldiers die in a helicopter crash

Fatal helicopter accidents occur again and again in Turkey. This time a military machine crashes in the southeast of the country. Several people die. The Ministry of Defense speaks of an accident.

At least eleven soldiers died when a military helicopter crashed in Turkey. The accident occurred in the Bitlis province in southeastern Turkey, as the Ministry of Defense announced. According to the ministry, the helicopter disappeared from the radar half an hour after take-off. After a search operation with drones, an airplane and a helicopter, the wreck of the machine was later discovered.

The Ministry of Defense said it was an accident. Initially, nine dead and four injured were reported. The ministry did not provide any further details.

According to a MP from the ruling AKP party, among the dead is a high-ranking military man. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his condolences to his family in a phone call, as announced by the presidential office. The Turkish army regularly takes action against the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the south-east of the country, which Ankara classifies as a “terrorist organization”.

In the past few years there have been repeated fatal helicopter accidents in Turkey. 17 soldiers were killed in the most serious incident in November 2012 in the eastern province of Siirt.

In June 2017, 13 soldiers were killed in the crash of a military helicopter in the southeastern province of Sirnak. At the time, the PKK stated that it had fired at and hit the helicopter. She contradicted a statement by the army, according to which the helicopter was caught in a high-voltage line.

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