Fatih Mayor Mustafa Demir, Üsküdar Mayor Mustafa Kara, family members, relatives and friends of the deceased attended the funeral ceremony.
Speaking to a large crowd at the funeral, chairman of the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation Bülent Yıldırım claimed the plane might have been downed. “The flight route had been changed before the takeoff. It is not known who did it. NATO helicopters took off to search for the wreckage of the plane, but the United States did not allow it. The black box of the plane has not been found yet. Another point is that the plane crashed in Afghanistan the day İzzet Şahin was released in Israel. All this cannot be coincidence. We have doubts about the US. A commission should be set up and the US should allow the commission to investigate the accident,” Yıldırım said.
He said it was impossible to describe Yıldız and Aktaş in words and added “They had always wanted to die martyrs on the path of charity. They were both lovers of Afghanistan and had a special interest in orphans. They lost their life in Afghanistan where they were for an orphanage project. They died martyrs as they had wanted. May Allah bless them with martyrdom. The IHH lost four people to this accident. The other two victims were working for our partner organization in Afghanistan. Hedef Foundation Manager Ahmet Igbal Yoldaş, 28, and Foreign Affairs Officer Aynuddin Yoldaş, 33, died young. Afghanistan lost two sons. May Allah have mercy on their souls.”
IHH chairman noted they would found four orphanages in Afghanistan in memory of the victims.
Family members and relatives of the victims delivered short speeches after Yıldırım. Aktaş and Yıldız were laid to rest at Edirnekapı Cemetery.
Life stories of the victims
Yıldız and Aktaş were in Afghanistan for an orphanage project. On the way back from Kunduz Province to the capital Kabul their plane crashed in the Salang Pass on 17 May 2010. Heavy show fall and fog made it impossible to reach the crash site for four days. It took days to identify the victims since the plane was totally destroyed. After the bodies were identified with DNA tests, they were delivered to the families.
Yıldız was a fan of Afghanistan and he died there as he had desired. Born in 1956 in Sivas Province, Yıldız went to İzmir İmam-Hatip High-School and graduated in 1975. He finished Management School of Erzurum University in 1987. His writings were published in Mavera, Güldeste, Gurbet magazines and Milli Gazete newspaper. He was a writer with Dunyabulteni, an online news page. Warring Afghanistan, Jihad Diary, Snow Flower, Footprints on the Snow and Valley of Roses are some of his published books. He had three daughters and two sons. He was known as Brother Bahattin for his gentle, honest, inoffensive, admirable personality. Contributing to Islam and its cause was the utmost objective to him. He had close friendship with prominent Afghan leaders. He used to regularly meet former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani. He was considered a son of Afghanistan.
Born in 1974 in Iğdır Province, Aktaş went to primary and secondary school in the same province. He lost his father when he was a child and grew up an orphan. He graduated from Sharia Law School of the Islamic University of Pakistan in 2002 and could speak English, Arabic and Urdu. His family live in Istanbul with a six-year old child named Muhammed Ferzan. He was known in the IHH for his hard work and modesty, and was admired by all. He was intending to do many things, especially for orphans. Allah blessed him with martyrdom. The IHH is preparing to bid farewell to another martyr after the Mavi Marmara martyrs. All concerned citizens are urged to attend the funeral.