26 March 2009
Turkish Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan cut short his formal visit to Tunisia and departed for Turkey on Thursday after a helicopter crash in which a political party leader is still missing in Turkey.
Muhsin Yazicioglu, leader of the Grand Unity Party (BBP), was one of six passengers on board when the helicopter crashed Wednesday. Turkish political party leaders cancelled their campaigns for Sunday's local elections to show respect to Yazicioglu.
Toptan, who was on a formal visit to Tunisia, flied back to Turkey in the evening and he headed directly to the southern province of Kahramanmaras where the helicopter crash occurred.
Search and rescue efforts are under way to find the helicopter that crashed to a snow-covered mountainous area.