4 soldiers killed in helicopter crash in Istanbul
Ali Yerlikaya told reporters the helicopter crashed near a residential area in Çekmeköy district at 6.51 p.m. local time (1551GMT).
The cause of the crash remains unknown, he added.
The National Defense Ministry confirmed the death toll on Twitter and said an investigation into the crash had been launched. "Following a comprehensive investigation, the results will be shared," it said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a condolence message in the ensuing hours. "We deeply feel the pain of our losses with our nation," he said.
Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım expressed sadness and extended condolences on Twitter.
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also offered his condolences.
The Anadolu 3rd Penal Court of Peace in Istanbul imposed a broadcast ban on the incident. ■