In Fatih Mosque, yesterday following the noon prayer (zuhr), a funeral prayer in absentia was offered for Faruk Aktas, coordinator of IHH’s Asia Desk and Bahattin Yildiz, our project coordinator in Afghanistan, Ahmet Igbal Yoldas, President of our partner organization Hedef Foundation and its Foreign Affairs Officer Aynuddin Yoldas who martyred in the airplane crash near Kabul. Around 3000 people have packed the yard of Fatih Mosque for the funeral which was held following the noon prayer.
Numan Kurtulmus, the leader of Felicity Party, Husnu Tuna and Seracettin Karayagiz, AK Party MPs, Aziz Babuscu, AK Party Istanbul Chairman, Erol Erdogan, Saadet Party Istanbul Chairman, Mustafa Demir Fatih Municipal Mayor, Mustafa Karahasanoglu, Vakit Daily Newspaper’s Editor-in-chief, Ali Bulac, journalist, Ibrahim Karagul, journalist, Bulent Yildirim, President of IHH, Huseyin Korkut, Head of Onder Association, Mehmet Guney, Head of Human And Civilization Platform and a number of representatives from other NGOs, political parties and lots of businessmen attended the funeral prayer.
Friends and families of the deceased were also present at the funeral.
Short speeches about Aktas and Yildiz were given prior to the prayer. Bulent Yildirim, President of IHH, said that Bahattin Yildiz was a dedicated volunteer of Afghanistan. Adding that Yildiz was actually writing about his personal life in his books about Afghanistan, also stated that Yildiz and Aktas are like snowflakes on the mountains of Afghanistan.
Bulent Yildirim also said that Aktas was such a calm and delicate person who would go out of his way to help people and never hurt anyone. He went on “We were together with Faruk throughout the vehicle convoy to Palestine. He was an inspiration to everyone. His martyrdom has become more than enough to inspire people. A brother of ours from Britain who knew Aktas from the first convoy has reverted to Islam in front of the Foundation building following Aktas’ martyrdom.”
Mustafa Zahid Yildiz, son of Bahattin Yildiz said “All his life my father would tell us about martyrs and martyrdom. Now he has become one of them.” Mehmet Guney, Head of Human and Civilization Platform, said that everybody should take Yildiz and Aktas as their role models. Guney went on to say “We should still feel their existence among us. They have become falling stars guiding for thousands of other stars to be born. They dedicated their life to this cause. They reached martyrdom in the mountains of Afghanistan while on a trip to help orphans. That trip was surely for a holy cause. We should act as if they are still around us. Only by doing so, we will have fulfilled our responsibilities.”
Cahid Aktas, Faruk Aktas’ brother, expressed his thanks to everyone who attended the funeral prayer.
Following the funeral prayer in absentia, Serafettin Kalay cited prayers for the martyrs. Moreover, other funeral prayers in absentia were offered for Aktas and Yildiz throughout the world including, Patani, Arakan, Tanzania and University of Islam in Pakistan. A photograph of Faruk Aktas has been hung on the walls in the entrance to the University of Islam, in Pakistan.
Faruk Aktas, Bahattin Yildiz, Ahmet Igbal Yoldas and Aynuddin Yoldas were on a trip to Kunduz on a trip to Afghanistan for buying land to build an orphanage on behalf of IHH (The Foundation For Human Rights And Freedoms And Humanitarian Relief). After finding the 400-meter-square land needed for the orphanage project, they were on their way back to Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, from Kunduz when the accident happened. The arrival of the bodies to Turkey will take a while as the identification process still continues.