Istanbul airport attack: What we know about the victims

Among the 44 people slain in Tuesday's suicide bombings at the Istanbul airport were a loving father who called his daughters "princesses," a colonel helping his son flee ISIS, a hero who tried to stop the attackers, a young woman who believed in peaceful resistance, an artist with a budding career, and a man who was about to get married.

'The ones who did this are brutal criminals,' says victim's husband. 'How come they kill innocent people?'

Mourners react next to the coffin during the funeral for Gulsen Bahadir, 28, a Turkish Airlines flight attendant killed Tuesday at Ataturk airport. (Emrah Gurel/Associated Press)

Among the 44 people slain in Tuesday's suicide bombings at the Istanbul airport were a loving father who called his daughters "princesses," a colonel helping his son flee ISIS, a hero who tried to stop the attackers, a young woman who believed in peaceful resistance, an artist with a budding career, and a man who was about to get married. 

As the death toll from Tuesday's attack grows, here is everything known so far about the victims. 

Yasin Ocal

Yasin Ocal, 25, died in hospital two days after the attack. 

Ocal, who was married and an employee at Ataturk airport, had sustained serious wounds to the head.

Sondos Shraim

Sondos Shraim, a Palestinian woman in her 20s who was caught up in Tuesday's attack, succumbed to her wounds two days later. 

Shraim was a native of the West Bank town of Qalqilyeh. She had travelled to Istanbul with her husband and three-year-old son for Ramadan. Her friend Nisreen Melhim was also killed, while Melhim's husband and daughter were wounded.

Ercan Sebat 

Ercan Sebat of Turkey had loved to draw since childhood. Working with a charcoal pencilSebat had produced art for several exhibitions. But the 41-year-old's talent was snuffed out along with his life in the attacks Tuesday night.

Ercan Sebat was a charcoal artist who had loved to draw since childhood. (Facebook )

On Thursday, his mother could not contain her grief.

"They've torn out my lungs," she wailed at her son's funeral in Istanbul. "They tore to pieces my rose of a son, they dashed my spirit!"

Sebat had worked as a passenger services officer at the international airport's ground services division for nearly two years. His brother Ertugrul also wept Thursday while hugging Ercan's coffin, which was draped in a Turkish flag. His father, Mahmut, was rushed to hospital after growing faint at the service.

Yusuf Haznedaroglu 

Yusuf Haznedaroglu and Nilsu Ozmeric of Turkey were looking forward to their wedding less than two weeks away. On Thursday, Ozmeric stood weeping over her fiancé's coffin, her engagement ring dangling from her neck.

Yusuf Haznedaroglu with his fiancée, Nilsu Ozmeric. The couple were preparing to get married in two weeks when he was killed in the Istanbul airport attack. (Facebook )

His mother also mourned at a service in Istanbul. "The wedding was next week," Cervinye Haznedaroglu sobbed as visitors came to offer condolences. "You came at the wrong time."

Haznedaroglu, 32, began working at Ataturk airport's ground services department last year. He died in a hospital after sustaining critical injuries from the attack on the airport while waiting for a bus to go home.

Ozgul Ide

Friends of Ozgul Ide, 21, were devastated by the young woman's death in Tuesday's suicide attacks on Istanbul's main airport.

"At just 21 … still so young, far too young to die," wrote one former classmate on her Facebook page. "I'm so sad, I haven't been able to stop crying all day."

A workplace friend wrote: "May you make it into heaven my dear colleague … you left us far too early. We will not forget you, Ozgul."

After moving from Turkey's southeastern province of Batman to Istanbul 12 years ago with her family, Ide graduated from the tourism and hotel management department at Istanbul's Arel University. She began working at the airport's ground services department six months ago.

Umut Sakaroglu

Turkish customs officer Umut Sakaroglu, 31, died while trying to stop Tuesday's deadly suicide attack at the airport — but social media has made sure that he will not be forgotten.

After firing at one of the three armed gunmen attacking the airport and wounding him, Sakaroglu died when the attacker detonated his suicide vest. Social media pages commemorating his deed are calling him a "hero" who is "immortal."

One of five siblings, Sakaroglu came from the southern province of Hatay, where his parents run a café.

Adem Kurt

Adem Kurt, 32, never forgot his parents and other relatives. Even though he had moved to Istanbul to work at the airport, he made it a point to visit his family in the northwestern province of Bursa every weekend. 

He had worked at the airport as part of supervisory staff for nearly two years before the attacks that claimed his life, cutting short reported plans for his engagement and future marriage.

His family held a service in front of their home in Bursa on Wednesday before the funeral moved to the mosque.

Abrorjon Ustabayev

Uzbek national Abrorjon Ustabayev, 22, was a trader who frequently visited the country to buy wares to sell back home. Ustabayev had arrived at the airport Tuesday night with $12,000 worth of textiles when he was caught up in the deadly suicide bombing attacks.

Close friend Kemal Han said that he had spoken by phone with Ustabayev shortly before the attacks.

"He loved Turkey and had many dreams," Han told the state-run Anatolia news agency. "Terrorism destroyed both those dreams and his love of Turkey."

Caglayan Col

Caglayan Col, 26, began working for the airport's ground services in 2014. He was killed as he waited for the bus to take him home.

After studying biology at Osmangazi University in the northwestern province of Eskisehir, Col had moved to Istanbul. But his frequent visits to his village were remembered by everyone back home. "Caglayan was beloved by all," Baspinar village administrator Kazim Korkmaz told the state-run Anatolia news agency.

Col would frequently comment on social media about his patriotism. One such tweet read, "While my head might generally be volatile, my blood is not. Sure, I might occasionally have emotional ups and downs, [but] my heart has belonged to my country ever since my father first thought of me."

His friends took to social media to commemorate Col and condemn the attack. "Could this really be happening? He was just making a living," wrote Serkan Ozmen.

Col. Fathi Bayoudth

Col. Fathi Bayoudth was struck down by the attacks while apparently attending to family business.

Quoting security sources in Tunis and Ankara, the Tunisian publication Business News said the Tunisian military doctor was in Istanbul to meet his son, who had joined the ISIS extremist group in Syria and had been seen in the conflict zone.

His family, with the help of Tunisian intelligence, convinced him to leave the group and return home via Istanbul, said the publication. The son, in his 20s, was arrested by Turkish authorities for extradition to Tunis, it reported.

The Tunisian Foreign Ministry confirmed the death of Bayoudh, head of the pediatric service at the Tunis military hospital. But officials would not elaborate, saying details were personal and additional information had to come from the family.

Murat Gulluce

Murat Gulluce adored his four daughters, referring to them as his "princesses" on social media. Now, they are fatherless.

Critically wounded in the attack, Gulluce was rushed to hospital but doctors were unable to save him.

Writing of the loss on Facebook, his sister, Ayse Nur Gulluce Cakardescribed him as "my dear older brother whom I used to refer to as father … I cannot endure such pain."

Originally from the eastern province of ErzurumGulluce had moved to Istanbul and worked as a jeweller. Later, he travelled to Uzbekistan where he started a greenhouse cultivation business. Dissatisfied with his work abroad, he returned to Istanbul and began working as a hotel manager. On Tuesday night he had arrived at the airport to fly to Uzbekistan.

Muhammed Eymen Demirci

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 Associated Press, "Now I wish he hadn't gotten the job."

A mourner reacts next to the coffin of Muhammed Eymen Demirci, killed Tuesday in the blasts at Istanbul's airport. (Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press)

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

Nisreen Melhim, 28, had just arrived in Istanbul and was looking forward to a few days of vacation with her husband and their three-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 attacks shortly after the family left the arrivals terminal and were heading toward the taxi stand.

"We heard shooting from a distance," said MarvanNisreen'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?"

Larisa Tsybakova

Ukrainian Larisa Tsybakova, 46, was at the airport together with her husband, according to the Ukrainian consul in Istanbul, Vasyl BodnarBodnar 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

In her own words, Gulsen Bahadir, 28, was a lover not a fighter.

Last week she had written on Facebook, "Never in my life have I fought, never. Not for the things I wanted, not for myself, not for my loved ones, not for the things life has denied me, not for when I faced injustice. I made this choice not because I lacked the strength but because I chose not to. Instead I chose to resist, because I do not believe fighting yields any results. There are no winners in war, only losers. They are the only ones that remain, the only ones that are remembered."

Gulsen Bahadir was an employee at Ataturk airport. (Facebook)

An employee at the airport, Bahadir was killed during Tuesday's deadly suicide attack. Critically wounded by a bullet, she was rushed to the hospital but doctors were unable to save her.

She was an only child. Her mother, Fahriye Bahadir, was in tears during her daughter's funeral on Wednesday: "What has my daughter done to them?"

Serkan Turk

Serkan Turk, 24, fell to the second explosion while helping the victims of the first blast, the Turkish daily Yeni Akit reported.

Hakan Dagdeviren, a friend and head of the Justice and Development Party youth branch, said Turk was a hard-working man who was full of life.

"Serkan was a good person," he said. "From what I've learned he had rushed to the site of the first explosion to help the wounded. He died in the second explosion," Dagdeviren told Yeni Akit.

AsstProfIlhan Toksoz of Trakya University said Turk "was a young man who loved his country and was full of life." Turk graduated last year from the university's physical education and sports college.

Merve Yigit

Merve Yigit, 22, had been working in catering at the airport. She died in an Istanbul hospital on Wednesday evening, a day after the attack, becoming the 42nd victim. She had been treated for injuries caused by shrapnel that pierced her abdomen, stomach and head.

With files from CBC News