Turkey buries women killed in plane crash over Iran


Istanbul (AFP)

Grieving families on Thursday bade farewell to the young women killed in a plane crash over Iran while returning from a pre-wedding celebration for a Turkish businessman's daughter, in a tragedy that shocked the country.

Mina Basaran, 28, daughter of businessman Huseyin Basaran, had taken seven of her girlfriends to the United Arab Emirates for a trip ahead of her wedding in April.

But on their way home to Turkey, the private jet belonging to her father's company crashed over Iran killing all eight women, as well as the two female pilots and the air hostess.

Basaran was to be buried after a farewell ceremony at a mosque in the Atakoy district of Istanbul for her and two other victims attended by the Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

Two other friends killed in the accident, Liana Hananel and Jasmin Baruh Siloni, members of Istanbul's Jewish community, were buried in separate ceremonies at two Jewish cemeteries in the districts of Ulus and Arnavutkoy.

The other passengers were laid to rest separately while hostess Eda Uslu was buried in Istanbul and pilot Melike Kuvvet, a former member of the Turkish air force, was buried in her home city of Konya.

Her pilot's overalls were laid on her coffin as relatives laid their heads on it in grief, television pictures showed.

Full-page tributes were placed by the family of Mina Basaran as well as her finance Murat Gezer who wrote, heartbreakingly: "My sweet-hearted angel. I love you very much. Wait for me."

They were due to marry on April 14 at the Ciragan Saray, an Ottoman-era palace by the Bosphorus.

Mina Basaran was already a board member of the family company while many of her seven girlfriends who accompanied her on the trip had successful careers with some already starting families.

Iran's Civil Aviation Organisation said the plane crashed after a technical problem whose origin remains unknown. The body of the other pilot, Beril Gerbes, has yet to be recovered.