Ambulance used on day Özal died revealed to be a relic
An ambulance used to transport late Turkish President Turgut Özal to hospital on the day he died in 1993 was made in 1970 and was in appalling condition even at the time of its use.
The ambulance was found as part of an investigation launched by the State Audit Board (DDK) into the late president's death on April 17, 1993, broadcaster NTV reported on its website.
The vehicle, a 1970 Mercedes 230, was found to be in possession of collector Gürsev Gür, who said he found out about the car's past use after DDK inspectors contacted him. "The DDK came to me with a delegation of 14 people and asked me if I removed anything from the vehicle," Gür said, adding that he had not altered the vehicle in any way.
The DDK's inspection showed that the ambulance lacked any sort of medical equipment except for a stretcher. There was a fixed seat in the rear to accommodate one medical personnel in sitting position and a sliding window to gain access to the driver's seat.
Gür said he was unsure how they managed to place Özal in the ambulance without causing harm to him. "It would have served better use as a car. It looks more like funeral car than an ambulance, if you remove the Red Crescent symbol," he said.
'Not an ambulance'
A report prepared by a board of medical experts said the vehicle "could not be called an 'ambulance' because it lacked any medical equipment and medicine, and it did not allow for adequate room for medical personnel to stand up and attend to a patient."