Turkey to request extradition for underage driver and mother who fled to US after fatal car crash

Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç has stated that Turkey was planning to request the extradition of 17-year-old T.C. and his mother Eylem Tok from the United States after the underage driver killed one and injured four in a car crash. Tok and T.C. fled the country on the night of the accident, causing a stir in Turkey.  

Security camera footage shows Tok and T.C. arriving at Istanbul Airport, and passing through customs.

Duvar English

Turkey’s Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç on March 7 stated that Turkey initiated an extradition process with the US for 17-year-old T.C. and his mother Eylem Tok who fled the country after the underage driver killed one and injured four in a car accident.  

Tunç announced on social media that the ministry initiated the extraction process upon learning from Egyptian Interpol that Tok and her son left the country for the US. A security camera footage revealed that T.C. held an American passport. 

A Turkish court requested the arrest of T.C. and Tok. The minor is charged with “reckless killing and multiple injuries,” whereas mother Tok is charged with “abetting the criminal.”  

“We have forwarded the documents requesting arrest to US officials through diplomatic channels and the Interpol,” stated Tunç. He assured that the ministry was carefully following the extradition process. 

The accident occurred in the late hours of March 1, when underage and licenceless driver T.C. crashed into a group of ATV drivers who had stopped in the emergency lane, as one of their vehicles broke down. 

The driver fled the scene and left the country for Egypt with his mother hours after the accident. Security camera footage showing the two going through customs at Istanbul Airport sparked outrage. 

A report by the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office found that Tok arrived at the scene and ran away with driver T.C. before law enforcement arrived. 

Lawyers of the victims alleged that Tok also removed the phones of the unconscious victims to prevent them from contacting authorities. The five victims were hospitalized after bypassers found them. 29-year-old Oğuz Murat Acı died in hospital. Another victim remains in critical condition. 

Before leaving for the US, Tok on March 5 released a statement from Egypt and said she acted upon “motherly instinct” when helping his son escape the country.    

She said they did now know about the casualty as they left and were devastated about the loss. They would return to Turkey and “submit themselves to justice” once the dust settled down.