Police helicopter ‘crash’ kills 12 in eastern Turkey

All twelve people aboard a police helicopter that crashed in the province of Tunceli in eastern Turkey were killed, the local administration said on Tuesday.

The helicopter crashed earlier on Tuesday in a remote mountainous area at an altitude of approximately 2,500 meters (8,202 feet) 10 minutes after take-off.

“As a result of the disaster, seven policemen, a judge, a soldier and three crew members were killed,” local authorities said in a statement.

The region the helicopter crashed is known to be an area where fighters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are active.

Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said that the crash was caused by bad weather conditions. However, similar statements were made last year when a military helicopter crashed in the country’s southeast only for the PKK to later release footage of its fighters downing the aircraft.

Last week Soylu had said an explosion in a police station in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir was caused by a gas leak but twenty-four hours later said that the explosion was as a result of a ‘terrorist attack’.