Martyred policeman in Izmir attack hailed as hero
By Esra Kaymak Avci / ANKARA


Thousands of Turkish people have taken to social media to praise the martyred police officer Fethi Sekin during Thursday's gun-and-bomb terrorist attack in western Izmir province.


The posts shared under the hashtags #FethiSekin and #Kahramanimiz (Our Hero) became a trending topic on Twitter since the attack Thursday afternoon.


"Goodbye you brave man, it is our duty to keep your name alive. #FethiSekin," a group named Izmirliyiz wrote on Twitter.


Another Twitter user, Aykut Elmas, shared a photo of Sekin showing him watching a football game of his son at a local stadium after his daily shift ended. "#FethiSekin rest in peace," he tweeted on the photo.


Galatasaray football club -- which Sekin was a fan of -- also shared a statement saying that it would offer an educational scholarship to Sekin's son as well as provide opportunities to him at the football club.


The terrorist attack in Izmir occurred just outside the city's main courthouse when the 43-year-old police officer Sekin stopped a suspicious vehicle, which turned out to be carrying explosives.


Sekin, who realized the terrorists as soon as he stopped the vehicle, opened fire on them and prevented civilian casualties by halting the vehicle from proceeding. An armed clash also took place between the terrorists and the security forces.


The ensuing clash and a car-bomb attack left Sekin and a court official martyred and five others injured as a bigger blast involving another vehicle was thwarted, according to Izmir Governor Erol Ayyildiz.


Izmir Mayor Aziz Kocaoglu also announced on his social media account that a city park near the courthouse would be named after Sekin where a sculpture of him was to be built in the area to honor him.


In several tweets, users mentioned Sekin's name along with Sgt. Omer Halisdemir who became a symbol of the Turkish nation's resistance to the failed July 15 coup attempt after he shot pro-coup Brig. Gen. Semih Terzi in the forehead at the entrance of the police special operations headquarters in Ankara.


Meanwhile, Facebook also changed Sekin's account into a "monumentalized account."

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