Belfast Telegraph

Turkish barber Suat Sedat Tireli killed in car crash - Northern Ireland road death toll rises to 13

By Brett Campbell

Tributes have been paid to a popular Turkish barber from Coleraine who was one of two people killed on Northern Ireland's roads over the weekend.

Suat Sedat Tireli (43), known to his many friends and customers as Karaman, took to social media on Friday evening to announce he would open his Railway Road salon at 8am for fans going to watch the Irish Cup final on Saturday - but he never showed up.

His body was discovered a short distance from his vehicle on the Ballyrashane Road around the very time he was expected to arrive in work. It is understood he had been thrown through the windscreen in a single vehicle collision and had passed away before workmen stumbled upon the horrifying scene.

East Londonderry MLA Maurice Bradley said Karaman's death came as "a big shock" to his many friends and family.

"He was a very successful Turkish barber and a strong supporter of local charities," he said.

"He had wished Coleraine FC well on Facebook on Friday night ahead of their big game and said his shop would be open early for fans. But sadly he lost his life in a car accident."

Mr Bradley said that the "hugely popular" barber made many loyal friends and customers as a result of his "enthusiasm and attention to detail".

"He will be sadly missed and I extend my deepest sympathy and prayers to his entire family circle," he added.

The Turkish Barber Shop in the town was set up in 2013 and given a stylish make-over in 2015. It was often used as a venue for fundraising events by people choosing to have their hair shaved off.

"What a terrible loss to this community, a genuinely decent, lovely man," one of his customers wrote on social media. "Always happy, always smiling. I feel so sorry for his family and his friends and co-workers in the Turkish barbers."

Karaman's grieving client and friend expressed hope that his loved ones would find "a little comfort" in the outpouring of tributes from throughout the community.

"Rest in peace Karaman it was a pleasure to have met you, you will be sorely missed, thank you for the lovely memories and laughs every time we visited your shop," they added.

Police have urged anyone who can help them trace the movements of the deceased's blue Nissan 350Z between 9pm on Friday and 8am on Saturday to contact officers on 101.

Meanwhile, DUP representative Mr Bradley extended his sympathy to the family of a teenager who was killed in a separate road accident in Dungiven.

The single vehicle collision on the Feeney Road at around 3.30am yesterday claimed the life of a 19-year-old man - believed to have been driving alone.

"Two more lives lost on our roads is not good news for anyone - all we can do is pray for their families," Mr Bradley said.

Sinn Fein councillor Brenda Chivers extended her condolences to the family and friends of the young man.

"Our community is shocked to hear of the fatal tragic accident," she said. "I want to extend my deepest condolences to his family and friends."

The latest fatalities bring the number of people who have lost their lives on the road this year to 13.

Belfast Telegraph

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