Istanbul airport attack: Who were the victims?

  • 30 June 2016
  • From the section Europe
From top left (all ground service workers unless specified): Ethem Uzunsoy, Ertan An (Translator), Adem Kurt, Yusuf Haznedaroglu, Serkan Turk (PE teacher), Ozgul Ide, Caglayan Col, Umut Sakaroglu (Customs officer), Gulsen Bahadir, Huseyin Tunc (high school teacher), Merve Yigit (part-time cook-student), Mustafa Biyikli (taxi driver), Abdulhekim Bugda, Erol Eskisoy (taxi driver), Muhammed Eymen Demirci, Goksel Kurnaz (private security guard)
Image caption From top left (all ground service workers, unless specified): Ethem Uzunsoy, Ertan An (translator), Adem Kurt, Yusuf Haznedaroglu, Serkan Turk (physical education teacher), Ozgul Ide, Caglayan Col, Umut Sakaroglu (customs officer), Gulsen Bahadir, Huseyin Tunc (school teacher), Merve Yigit (part-time cook-student), Mustafa Biyikli (taxi driver), Abdulhekim Bugda, Erol Eskisoy (taxi driver), Muhammed Eymen Demirci, Goksel Kurnaz (private security guard)

The attack on the evening of 28 June at Istanbul's Ataturk international airport left 44 people dead - 19 of them of foreign or dual nationality.

Some 240 were injured, some of them critically.

These are the stories and backgrounds of some of those who lost their lives.

Turkish profiles by Enis Senerdem, BBC Turkish


Gulsen Bahadir

Gulsen, a 21-year-old ground services crew member, was shot dead inside the terminal building.

Her Facebook post from 21 June said: "I have never got into a war in my life, never. Not because I'm weak but because I chose so. My choice was resisting. Because I know that war is futile. There would be no winners in any war, only losers. I'm resisting against the injustices of the state. I'm only asking for the deserved welfare of the people. I resist against evil."


Umut Sakaroglu

Umut was a customs officer who shot one of the attackers.

He tried to check if the gunman was alive or dead but was unable to escape when the attacker detonated his suicide vest.

There are numerous Facebook pages now in his memory. One of them is called "Umut Sakaroglu the hero".

People are sharing messages to say that his actions stopped the attacker and prevented an even more dire situation.


Yusuf Haznedaroglu

Yusuf was among nine ground services personnel killed during the attack.

He had finished his daily shift when the gunmen stormed the terminal building and was waiting for a shuttle bus outside in a parking area when he was shot dead.

He was due to be married 10 days later.

"First they told us Yusuf was seriously wounded. We lost him at the hospital. If he had stayed in the terminal building maybe he would have survived," the mother of Yusuf's fiancee told reporters.


Ertan An

Translator Ertan was accompanying a tourist group when the attack occurred.

He went to high school in Austria and had learned German. After his graduate studies, he started work as a translator.

He was married with a child and he and his wife were expecting their second baby in three months.


Ozgul Ide

Ozgul, 21, started work at Ataturk airport as a ground services member just a couple of months ago.

She graduated from university last year.

Her friends mourned her with their Facebook posts and condemned the attack.

"4 years; we shared so many memories for 4 great years. Our sister Ozgul Ide has been killed yesterday in a cowardly attack. We are sorry for our loss," one of her old school friends wrote.

"My dearest friend, rest in peace. You left us too early. We will never forget you," another colleague wrote.


Muhammed Eymen Demirci

Muhammed, 25, started working with ground services at Ataturk airport only a month ago.

He shared a selfie taken with his brand new uniform on Facebook.

His family told reporters that Muhammed had decided to work to contribute to his two sisters' education. After a year unemployed, he had texted a friend in May, saying: "I got the job bro!"

His dream was to become a journalist.


Huseyin Tunc

Huseyin was a high school teacher in Istanbul. He was at the airport to greet a friend.

"He grew up without a father. I brought him up against all odds. We were picking breadcrumbs from streets. No mother should feel this pain," his mother said as she told his story at his funeral.

"My teacher Huseyin was killed in a cowardly attack. May you rest in peace, beautiful person," one of his pupils wrote on Twitter.


Caglayan Col

Caglayan, 27, was another ground services worker.

He described his passion for life and his country on his Twitter profile, saying: "The nation is always in my heart."


Merve Yigit

Merve, 22, had worked as a part-time cook for the past three years at the airport.

She was trying to pay for her university tuition.

She was rushed to hospital after being shot but died almost 24 hours after the attack.

"This time the pain is so different. No words for it. May you be in lights my beautiful friend. May you have the best place in heaven," one of her friends wrote on Twitter.


Goksel Kurnaz

Goksel, 38 was a private security guard and was at the airport to greet his boss.

He was married and had two children.


Serkan Turk

Serkan, 24 was a physical education teacher who graduated last year.

He went to the airport with his neighbour to greet the neighbour's mother, Naciye Cinar.

"I've heard three explosions. Serkan noticed that something was wrong and got inside the terminal building to find me. The bomb exploded as soon as he got inside," she told reporters.


Mustafa Biyikli

The gunman at the parking area killed three taxi drivers when he started to fire his weapon discriminately, including Mustafa.

Erol Eskisoy and Ali Zulfikar Yorulmaz also lost their lives.


Nationality of dead so far confirmed (may include dual nationality)

24 - Turkish

3 - Saudi

2 - Iraqi. Palestinian officials say one Palestinian woman and her son were killed

1 - Chinese; Jordanian; Tunisian; Uzbek; Iranian; Ukrainian


Other victims

Uzbek national Abrorjon Ustabayev, 22, was a trader who frequently visited Turkey and had arrived with a shipment of textiles. Close friend Kemal Han said: "He loved Turkey and had many dreams. Terrorism destroyed both those dreams and his love of Turkey."

Palestinian officials say Sondos Shraim and her three-year-old son, Rayan, both died. They were in Istanbul for a Ramadan holiday along with her husband, who was injured.

Tunisian doctor Fathi Bayoudh had reportedly been in Turkey for some weeks trying to secure the release of his son, who had been detained for allegedly joining IS.

Marvan Melhim and his wife, Nisreen, both work in Saudi Arabia, and had arrived with their three-year-old daughter.

"We heard shooting from a distance," said Marvan. "The explosion went off. I found my wife bleeding and my daughter too." Nisreen died in hospital shortly afterwards.

Ukrainian Larisa Tsybakova, 46, was at the airport together with her husband, Ukrainian officials say. She died of blood loss from a leg wound. She was reportedly on holiday with her husband and son.

There were three unnamed Saudi victims.

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