Heartbreaking send-off after hens party tragedy
THE billionaire bride-to-be who was killed in a plane crash while returning from her hens' party has been given an emotional send-off in Turkey overnight.
Mina Basaran, 28, who was a well-known socialite and the daughter of wealthy Turkish businessman Huseyin Basaran, was with her seven closest friends returning home in a private plane from a Dubai hens' party.
Three female crew members were also killed when the aircraft crashed into an Iranian mountainside and burst into flames last week.
Funerals have been held for nine of the 11 women killed on board and, overnight, Ms Basaran was farewelled in a joint funeral service in Istanbul with two of the women in her hens' party group.
The socialite was due to marry her fiance Murat Gezer at an Ottoman-era palace, the Cirigan Saray in the Turkish capital on April 14. He wrote an emotional message to Ms Basaran on social media - saying "My sweet-hearted angel. I love you very much. Wait for me".
UAE media reports that one of the victims of the crash included two pregnant women, four who were engaged to be married and one who had a four-month-old son.
The group posted pictures of their trip to Dubai with posts on social media. One of the last images posted on Instagram by Ms Basaran showed her standing in front of the jet. Clutching a bouquet of flowers, she wore a pair of fluffy pink ears on her head and a denim jacket decorated with an image of an engagement ring and the words "Mrs Bride" and "#bettertogether".
The last photo on Ms Barasan's Instagram account showed her surrounded by seven other young women, all wearing robes and sunglasses. The post, tagged #minasbachelorette, said it was taken at the luxury hotel, One & Only Royal Mirage, Dubai.
The last video on her Instagram page shows her attending a concert by the British pop star Rita Ora at a popular Dubai nightclub.
The plane was owned by the private holding company of her father, Turkish businessman Mr Basaran, and carried eight passengers and three crew, an official for Turkey's transport ministry said.
It plummeted into a mountainous region of Iran in heavy rain and burst into flames shortly after taking off from Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
Mr Basaran, a former deputy chairman of Turkish football club Trabzonspor, owns businesses that span yachts to energy.
One of his companies is the top shareholder in Bahrain Middle East Bank BSC, a small investment bank. His construction projects include a series of luxury apartment blocks on Istanbul's Asian side called "Mina Towers", named after his daughter.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.