A colonel of the Turkish army deployed in Libya was killed during the military operations taking place there, and the Turkish government has buried him in his hometown “secretly”, to avoid the media hype which his death might cause, Turkish media sources report.
The dead colonel is Okan Altinay, according to the source, a retired colonel who was called back for conscription, and has been among the Turkish troops deployed in north Syria, but then he was dispatched to Libya, where he died.
The editor in chief of the Turkish newspaper Yeniçağ, revealed in a series of tweets that the body of Altenay was sent secretly to his hometown in the city of Aydin, where he was buried in the martyrs’ cemetery without a ceremony, amid media blackout, in the presence of only some of his colleagues from the Ground Military School.
Orhan Ugur Oglu, a Turkish journalist said that three Turkish soldiers were killed during military operations in Libya, including a colonel, pointing out that the burials happened quickly and simply, away from the public eye, which might be caused by the news of their death in Libya. “I am waiting for official statements in this regard, waiting for Erdogan to answer my following questions: why don’t you reveal the real number of the dead? Are they intelligence officers or what?” the journalist added.
As for the Turkish government, military officials in the Turkish Ministry of Defense denied any reports about Turkish soldiers or officers who were killed outside the country, except for those who died in Syria.
The Libyan army, however, revealed that 16 Turkish soldiers have been killed during battles in Libya, according to the Director of the moral Guidance Department of the Libyan National Army, Brigadier-General Khaled Al Mahjoub, who pointed out that the units of the Libyan National Army have killed 105 mercenaries of the non-official troops sent by Turkey to support the Government of National Accord.
In conjunction with that, Sky News website released a report that says: According to the number of the Turkish troops in Libya announced by Turkish President, and according to the number of Turkish troops who were killed there as announced by Brigadier-General Mahjoub, Turkey has already lost half of its troops in Libya since the start of its direct military intervention in Libya, a few weeks ago. The report expresses doubts about Erdogan’s announcements, saying that the number of Turkish troops killed in Libya would be much higher.