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Father of slain youth says son massacred, not a martyr

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Salim Akbaş, the father of 19-year-old Berkay, who was one of 38 victims of twin bomb attacks in İstanbul on Saturday night, has said he does not want his son to be called a martyr, a term used to refer to those killed in terror attacks in Turkey, saying that his son was in fact massacred.

Berkay Akbaş, a student of medicine at the Ankara-based Başkent University, became a victim of the attacks as he was traveling in a taxi near Beşiktaş’s football stadium where the twin explosions took place on Saturday night, killing 38 people and injuring 166 others.

“If only terrorism had finished by condemning it. We have been condemning terrorism for years. They [government officials] will lay flowers tomorrow [at the scene of the attacks]. They will not do anything else. I don’t want my son to be a martyr. He has been massacred,” said Akbaş as he spoke to reporters in front of the İstanbul Council of Forensic Medicine where he would retrieve his son’s body on Sunday.

Thirty of the victims of the attacks were police officers while eight were civilians.

The explosions, triggered by a car and a suicide bomber less than one minute apart, struck outside Beşiktaş’s stadium less than two hours after a match had finished on Saturday evening.

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