Turkey's Erdogan talks man on bridge out of suicide

The man talks to the President in his car after being talked out of jumping in this screenshot.
The man talks to the President in his car after being talked out of jumping in this screenshot. PHOTO: YOUTUBE
A screenshot of the suicidal man from online footage.
A screenshot of the suicidal man from online footage.PHOTO: YOUTUBE

ISTANBUL (AFP) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used his celebrated rhetorical skills to save a life on Friday, preventing a man from jumping off Istanbul's Bosphorus Bridge.

The man was apparently preparing to jump to his death when Erdogan's motorcade was passing over the bridge linking Europe with Asia after Friday prayers.

News footage showed Erdogan's bodyguards bringing the sobbing man, who appeared to be in his early 30s, to talk to him through the window of his car.

After a few moments, the man can be seen kissing Erdogan's hand.

The man was then escorted to safety, the Dogan news agency reported.

It said police had been trying for almost two hours to talk the man out of committing suicide after he abandoned his car on the bridge and climbed over the side railing.

He has long been suffering from depression due to family problems, Dogan said.

The iconic bridge spanning the Bosphorus at a height of 64m is a frequent suicide spot.