Cik­los bend claims lives

Cyprus Today - - FRONT PAGE -

THE search was still un­der way last night for a teenage girl be­lieved to have been killed af­ter flood­wa­ter swept a car off the Girne-Le­fkoşa road, down a steep slope and into a lake on Wed­nes­day night, killing three other young peo­ple.

The bod­ies of Tolga Bekçi, 21, Ah­met Kılıç, 23, and Gü­nay Kan­daz, 18, were re­cov­ered by the emer­gency ser­vices on Thurs­day. Mr Bekçi was found in a ravine at 7.30am and the oth­ers near the Doğanköy reser­voir at 10am.

Ms Kan­daz’s body was orig­i­nally mis­tak­enly iden­ti­fied as that

of Gaye Soyu­tok, 18, who had also been in the car when it left the road at the Cik­los bends above Girne.

A search by fire­fight­ers, Civil De­fence and mil­i­tary per­son­nel — in­clud­ing a he­li­copter that sur­veyed the area from above — was aban­doned at 3pm on Thurs­day due to wors­en­ing weather con­di­tions but re­sumed yes­ter­day in the hope of re­cov­er­ing Ms Soyu­tok’s body af­ter the mix-up was re­vealed by a post-mortem ex­am­i­na­tion.

Divers dis­cov­ered the navy blue Toy­ota that the group had been trav­el­ling in “smashed to pieces” in the reser­voir at about 2pm. Af­ter it was hauled out of the wa­ter by a bull­dozer, it was re­ported that the pool and an es­ti­mated 8m-deep layer of mud at the bot­tom, would be drained in the search for Ms Soyu­tok.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, the four were head­ing to­wards Le­fkoşa at around 11pm on Wed­nes­day when tragedy struck in an area where there was a gap in the road­side crash bar­ri­ers.

Dis­traught rel­a­tives gath­ered at the Le­fkoşa State Hos­pi­tal morgue, while the vil­lage of Dik­men was plunged into mourn­ing for cousins Ms Soyu­tok and Ms Kan­daz. Mr Bekçi, who was en­gaged to Ms Kan­daz, was due to be buried in Değir­men­lik yes­ter­day.

A rel­a­tive of the young cousins, who asked not to be named, told Cyprus To­day the fam­ily was “torn apart” by the knowl­edge that Ms Soyu­tok was still miss­ing.

“Not even a shred of her cloth­ing has been found and God knows where her body has been dragged to. This fam­ily’s lives have been shat­tered,” she said.

“It’s so hard to think that af­ter we told them not to go out in that weather they still did, just for a ride around the town, but couldn’t make it home.

“We are tired of blam­ing the gov­ern­ment for the state of the roads and our main re­buke is for the po­lice, who we heard told them not to drive through as the road was closed — but why wasn’t there a bar­rier across the car­riage­way?”

Prime Min­is­ter Tu­fan Erhür­man, who toured the dis­as­ter ar­eas and vis­ited the scene of the hor­ror crash on Thurs­day with his deputy and For­eign Min­is­ter Ku­dret Öz­er­say, Mr Atakan, Agri­cul­ture and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Min­is­ter Erkut Şa­hali and chief of po­lice Sü­ley­man Manavoğlu, ex­pressed his sad­ness at the loss of life.

In a mes­sage ex­press­ing “deep re­gret” over the tragedy, and to all af­fected by the dis­as­ter, Pres­i­dent Mustafa Akıncı said help would be given by the com­mu­nity and the state to “heal the wounds”.

Mes­sages of con­do­lence were is­sued by po­lit­i­cal par­ties, re­li­gious fig­ures, busi­ness lead­ers and the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment on Thurs­day.

From top left, clock­wise, Ah­met Kılıç, Gaye Soyu­tok, Tolga Bekçi and Gü­nay Kan­daz

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Cyprus

© PressReader. All rights reserved.