FILE - Former British army officer James Le Mesurier stands near the Golden Horn in this undated file photo, in Istanbul. The lifeless body of James Le Mesurier was found early Monday Nov. 11, 2019, in Istanbul, Turkey. Le Mesurier, a former British army officer who helped found the "White Helmets" volunteer organization in Syria, has been found dead in Istanbul, Turkish officials and news reports said Monday. (AP Photo/File)

Turkey tries to shed light on White Helmets founder's death

November 12, 2019 - 5:45 am

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A Turkish official says authorities are working to understand how a former British officer who helped found the White Helmets volunteer aid group in Syria died.

James Le Mesurier was found dead near his home in Istanbul on Monday. Turkish police believe he fell to his death and are investigating the circumstances.

Istanbul governor Ali Yerlikaya told reporters Tuesday: "Our chief prosecutor's office, our police are engaged in multifaceted efforts to shed light on the incident."

Le Mesurier was the founder and CEO of May Day Rescue, which established and trained the White Helmets, also known as the Syria Civil Defense, a group of local humanitarian volunteers.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency reported he was 48 and had moved to Turkey with his wife four years ago.

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