Deceased President Özal commemorated

Deceased President Özal commemorated

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
Deceased President Özal commemorated

State officials such as the Minister of Environment Erdoğan Bayraktar, Istanbul Governor Avni Mutlu and Istanbul Chief of Police Hüseyin Çapkın joined the ceremony. AA Photo

State officials, admirers and relatives of late Turkish President Turgut Özal gathered before his mausoleum in Istanbul’s Topkapı district yesterday, to commemorate the 19th anniversary of his death.

“Turgut Özal assumed as his principal ideal the elevation of our nation in all the tasks he undertook. He cleared Turkey’s path with his ideas, reforms and steps forward, and pioneered the profound transformation our country has enacted in political, economic and social spheres,” Turkish President Abdullah Gül said in a written statement yesterday.

“Turgut Özal not only made great strides in changing and transforming Turkey, and in developing and opening the country up to the world, but he has also left a profound mark on our history of democracy. Özal has attained an exceptional place in our nation’s heart through his vision and personality. Our beloved people will, I believe, forever remember his services,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also said in a written statement.

Minister of Environment and Urban Planning, Erdoğan Bayraktar, Istanbul Governor Avni Mutlu and Istanbul Chief of Police Hüseyin Çapkın joined the ceremony yesterday.

Özal was elected prime minister in 1983, in the aftermath of the Sept. 12, 1980 military coup, and later became the country’s eighth president in 1989. Born in the eastern province of Malatya, Özal was of partly Kurdish origin and his policies led to a huge liberalization of the Turkish economy. However, his tenure in office was cut short when he passed away due to a heart attack on April 17, 1993, although claims of an assassination regarding his death have since been made.

Turkey