The accident occurred on Monday at 4 a.m. when a car driven by Vecdet Eriş plunged into the water shortly after it drove off the ferry that brought it to the Port of Tekirdağ. Eriş and his wife Aysel Eriş, who was in the car with him, died at the scene, while the other passengers, Ahmet Gülhan and his wife Zeynep Gülhan, died at Tekirdağ State Hospital which they were taken after the accident. The two families were travelling in the same car from Bursa's Bandırma port to Tekirdağ.
Reports from news agencies said the car had been the first one to disembark after the ferry had docked and that the accident occurred a few meters after the car drove off the ferry. Witnesses claimed that the incident occurred because it was dark and there were no directional signs at the port.
“There are no precautions here [at the Tekirdağ port] to prevent possible accidents. There is no lighting, no attendant or signs to ensure safe disembarking,” a witness said, according to Sabah. Witnesses contacted the police and rescue teams immediately after the accident. Rescue teams recovered the dead bodies of Vecdet and Aysel Eriş from the sea. Their bodies were later sent to their hometown of İzmir for burial, while those of the Gülhan family were sent to Konya.
According to the reports, the children of the two families were engaged to be married in June. The Gülhan and Eriş families were heading to Kırklareli to deliver household goods and furniture to the engaged couple's new house. The young couple, who were also on the same ferry and in a truck that was carrying their furniture, were hospitalized after suffering nervous breakdowns when they saw their parents' dead bodies.
The driver of the truck, Mehmet Bingöl, said he was preparing to drive off the ferry when the car fell into the sea with a loud splash. “There were no signs or lighting, and it was difficult to see anything as it was very dark.”
Ferry services at the port were suspended after the incident. Public prosecutor Muammer Özcan inspected the scene with experts on Tuesday, and an investigation was launched into the incident by the Ministry of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications.