clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Details of some of the victims of the airport

Suicide attackers armed with guns and bombs killed 41 people and wounded hundreds at Istanbul's busy Ataturk Airport Wednesday, apparently targeting Turkey's crucial tourism industry.

Details are beginning to emerge about some of the victims.

Muhammed Eymen Demirci, 25, felt fortunate to have finally found work so he could help pay for his two younger sisters' education.

Hoping to one day become a cabin steward, Demirci graduated from Istanbul University's Public Relations Department but was unable to find any employment for over a year. He was ecstatic to finally be hired by the airport's ground services in May, texting his friends "I got the job bro!"

But on Tuesday night, while waiting for the bus to take him home after his shift, Demirci was killed by one of the suicide bombs.

Childhood friend Deniz Dogan had helped Demirci prepare for the job exam and reassured him throughout the process. "He was such a friendly person, a man who fought for his ideals," Dogan told the AP, "Now I wish he hadn't gotten the job."

A black belt in taekwondo and an excellent football player, Demirci's loved ones noted he was as passionate about sports as he was about life and work. His funeral took place on Wednesday in Istanbul's Basakshir neighborhood.

Nisreen Melhim, 28, had just arrived in Istanbul and was looking forward to a few days of vacation with her husband and their 3-year-old daughter. The couple worked in Saudi Arabia and planned to relax in the city before flying to Palestine for Ramadan. They were caught up in the terror attacks shortly after the family left the arrivals terminal and was heading toward the taxi stand.

"We heard shooting from a distance," said Marvan, Nisreen's husband. "The explosion went off. I found my wife bleeding and my daughter too."

Nisreen died in hospital shortly afterward, leaving her husband shocked and mourning. "The ones who did this are brutal criminals," he said. "How come they kill innocent people?"

Ukrainian Larisa Tsybakova, 46 was at the airport together with her husband, according to the Ukrainian consul in Istanbul, Vasyl Bodnar. Bodnar said she died of blood loss after receiving a leg wound, but provided no other details.

Ukrainian news reports said that Tsybakova, a resident of the Black Sea port of Odessa, was making a vacation trip to Turkey with her husband and son.

Gulsen Bahadir, 28, a Turkish Airlines flight attendant also died in the attack.