[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 23 November, 2003, 09:43 GMT
Blast Briton's fiancee 'brain dead'
Hulya Donmez
Hulya Donmez suffered serious head and chest injuries
The fiancee of a Briton caught up in the Istanbul bomb blasts is brain dead in hospital.

Hulya Donmez, 27, the girlfriend of Graham Carter, who was filmed on Thursday as he staggered from the wrecked British consulate, has been on a life support machine in an Istanbul hospital with brain and chest injuries.

The pair had gone to the consulate to obtain a visa so they could marry in Britain, when the suicide bomber struck.

Doctors at Istanbul's Taksim Hospital said they had lost all hope that she would recover after she was declared brain dead.

Miss Donmez reportedly regained consciousness at one stage in her hospital bed, uttering her final words to Mr Carter, who she thought was with her.

There had been confusion over Miss Donmez's condition, after the hospital had said her condition was "almost hopeless" on Saturday.

It is finished. Hulya is gone
Savas Donmez
However, it has now been reported that the 27-year-old university student had brain surgery on Saturday which was unsuccessful, but that the hospital has no legal authority to turn the life-support machine off.

Miss Donmez's fiance is said to be in a distressed state in the US hospital in Istanbul, while her brother Savas and father Hasan were being comforted inside the state-run hospital where she is lying.

Savas, 30, broke down in tears saying: "It is finished. Hulya is gone."

A British Foreign Office official who visited Hulya to establish her condition is believed to have reported back to Mr Carter.

The 34-year-old, from Lincolnshire, is being treated for injuries to his eyes.

A source at the American Hospital said: "His psychological state at the moment means he can't talk to anyone.

"He's in a very bad way."

Doctors told Savas that Miss Donmez was conscious at one stage in hospital.

He said: "She said something in English before she lost consciousness.

"She was confused and she thought it was Graham in the bed next to her. She turned that way and said 'How are you?'."

When Mr Carter came out of the wreckage bloodstained and blinded he believed Ms Donmez was already dead, but it later emerged she had survived.

Mr Carter, 34, had travelled with Turkish-born Miss Donmez to the consulate on Thursday morning.

'World fell apart'

The couple, who are thought to have been together for four years, had just passed security checks when the bomb exploded.

The headquarters of the London-based HSBC bank was also hit.

The twin suicide attacks left 27 people dead, including the British consul general Roger Short, and injured 450.

Miss Donmez's brother said he had searched for his sister because her name had not come up on hospital lists as she had been listed as an English national.

Mr Carter is a director of a Grantham-based company Horti com and it is understood the couple had planned to marry early next year.


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific