Murdered consul's widow mourns all who died in blasts

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The Independent Online

The widow of the British consul general murdered in the Istanbul bombings said yesterday that she was in mourning for everyone who died.

As details emerged of two more consular staff killed in the attacks, Victoria Short said she grieved for the 27 dead and the whole Istanbul community that her 59-year-old husband had loved. Roger Short and his secretary, Lisa Hallworth, caught the full force of the truck bomb that exploded at the gates of the consulate, and were killed instantly.

In a statement released from Istanbul, Mrs Short, who has a son and two daughters, said: "This is a very difficult time for our whole community. It is not only us suffering a personal loss, but there are so many other families like us that are grieving. We mourn for all those Turkish and British killed in yesterday's [Thursday's] two bombings and for the community of Istanbul and Beyoglu which Roger loved."

Friends remembered Mr Short yesterday as a "typical Englishman" who was very calm and reserved.

Mr Short and other consular staff had been briefed recently about a growing terrorist threat. One guest who met him at a reception the night before he died, said that when he was asked about an increasing sense of unease in Istanbul, he replied: "Terror, terror, terror," and sighed.

Ms Hallworth, who was 38 and single, had worked in Istanbul for three years as Mr Short's personal assistant, after 13 years with the Foreign Office in Madrid, Geneva, New York and London.

Robin Lonsdale, the headteacher at Two Trees High School in Denton, Lancashire, which Ms Hallworth attended, said she was remembered with affectionby teachers. "She was a very, very nice pupil and we were genuinely distressed to hear the news," he said.

A third British victim was Nannette Elizabeth Kurma, 41, a Scottish interpreter who worked for the consul general helping bereaved families and had married a Turk, Feza Kurma.

Her brother, Ronald Clarke, from Drongan in Ayrshire, said his sister's three grown-up children, who live in Scotland, were devastated. "She was an interpreter who worked with bereaved families and made arrangements for bodies being returned. Now I'm going to have to do the same," he said.

A Strathclyde Police statement on behalf of her family said she was inside the building when she died. She had been intending to go to Scotland in January for the birth of her third grandchild.

Graham Carter, another Briton badly injured in the blast, who initially thought it had killed his Turkish fiancée, was told yesterday that she was alive.

Mr Carter, 34, was standing next to Hulya Domez, whom he met on holiday in Turkey two years ago, as she waited to get a visa to visit his Lincolnshire home on her first trip to Britain.

He said he saw his girlfriend "go to pieces" right in front of him in the explosion, but was told yesterday she was in a coma and on a life-support machine at Taksim hospital in the city. Mr Carter is in the American hospital in Istanbul, being treated for injuries to his eyes and "psychological trauma".

Elsewhere in the city another British victim, Graeme Wick, 38, was being treated in a German hospital for facial injuries and multiple injuries to his body.