Izmir stays awake: 250 taxi drivers form convoy for Oğuz Erge
Last night, Izmir witnessed a poignant show of solidarity as approximately 250 taxi drivers formed a convoy to escort the body of their fellow driver, Oğuz Erge, to the Forensic Medicine Institute, following his tragic death. The 44-year-old taxi driver had been critically injured after being shot by 19-year-old passenger Delil Aysal and succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.
The incident occurred in the Gaziemir district on December 31, around 3:30 AM, when Erge, a married father of two, picked up Aysal, who was disguised with a medical mask and hood.
After directing Erge to various locations, Aysal pretended to pay, then drew a gun and fired three shots, injuring Erge before fleeing with the driver's earphones and cellphone.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca extended condolences, stating, "Last night in Gaziemir, Izmir, a taxi driver was shot by his passenger and later died in the hospital. The injured driver was transported to Gaziemir State Hospital by a 112 ambulance and underwent emergency surgery at Atatürk Training and Research Hospital. The incident's video is distressingly cruel. We do not doubt that the perpetrator will face justice. We pray for mercy for the deceased and offer condolences to his family."
The attack, captured by the taxi's onboard camera, showed Aysal firing at Erge and searching the taxi before escaping. The police investigation, which included reviewing footage from approximately 70 security cameras, led to Aysal's arrest at his hideout.
Following an examination by the prosecutor, Erge's body was taken to the Forensic Medicine Institute by a convoy of 250 taxis. Taxi drivers honked their horns in protest and followed the hearse to its destination.
Celil Anık, President of the Izmir Drivers and Automobile Tradesmen Chamber, expressed gratitude to the police for their swift action in apprehending the suspect and highlighted the need for safety measures in taxis. He lamented the limitations of preventive measures and emphasized the role of drug abuse in such incidents, urging for more vigilant practices among drivers.
Following the press release, the taxi drivers clapped in protest against the attack, emphasizing their unity and calling for measures to prevent future tragedies. Security personnel from the Buca District Police Department and Security Branch took extensive precautions to ensure safety during the event.