Europe

The tragic tale of two friends killed in separate attacks in Turkey

  • 14 March 2016
  • From the section Europe
Photo of Ali Deniz Uzatmaz and Ozancan Akkus Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Ozancan Akkus (left) and Ali Deniz Uzatmaz (right)

This photo of two childhood friends killed in separate attacks has come to symbolise Turkey's sorrow following yesterday's bombing in Ankara.

Ozancan Akkus was killed with 36 others when a huge explosion ripped through the Kizilay neighbourhood of Ankara on Sunday.

His friend Ali Deniz Uzatmaz was also killed in a bomb attack - this one on 10 October during a peace rally he was attending in the Turkish capital with hundreds of others.

At the time Ozancan, on the left, condemned the death of his childhood friend on social media and paid tribute to him.

"He will live on in our hearts," he wrote on Twitter.

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In a tragic twist of fate Ozancan's own social media pages have today been inundated with tributes. His Facebook page, which before included pictures of the smiling student among friends, is now a virtual cyber-shrine.

"Who would have thought you would share the same fate?" one post reads.

Another simply says: "Good-hearted beautiful people goodbye."

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Ozancan's tributes are not the only ones on social media.

Some expressed criticism over what they believed was a brief social media blackout. Others used cyberspace to make an empathetic appeal.

One Facebook user shared a post calling for a universal show of solidarity for Turkey.

Hours after the attack, James Taylor, who lives in Ankara, asked his friends to imagine what it would be like if the attacks happened where they lived. The post has gone viral and has been shared more than 65,000 times.

Today James posted on Facebook that he is humbled by the messages of support he has received.

"It is easy to hate. It is easy to ignore. Why is it so hard to love?"

Image copyright James Taylor/Facebook
Image caption A short excerpt from James Taylors Facebook post

His latest post which has also had thousands of likes, ends with a poignant message: "We are Paris, we are Ankara, we are Syria, we are Ivory Coast, but above all we are human."

By Rozina Sini with additional reporting by Emre Azizlerli

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