LOCAL > Swiss consul’s wife will not claim diplomatic immunity

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

Print Page Send to friend »
Wife of Swiss consulate and head of Chancery Andrea Köppel (L) allegedly fled the scene after hitting a married couple in Istanbul’s Bebek district. DHA photo

Wife of Swiss consulate and head of Chancery Andrea Köppel (L) allegedly fled the scene after hitting a married couple in Istanbul’s Bebek district. DHA photo

Erdem Güneş Erdem Güneş erdem.gunes@hdn.com.tr

The wife of the Swiss consulate and head of Chancery, for whom a restraining order was issued following a hit and run motorbike accident she was involved in, will not use her diplomatic immunity, the Swiss Consulate General has said.

A Swiss consular car driven by the Swiss Consul Florian Köppel’s wife, Andrea Köppel, hit a married couple on a motorcycle in Istanbul’s Bebek neighborhood on Feb 6. Köppel allegedly fled the scene immediately after crashing into a motorcycle carrying 49-year-old Doğan Durmuş İnal and his wife, Filiz İnal.

Filiz İnal was badly injured and was taken to Şişli Etfal Hospital while Doğan Durmuş İnal suffered minor injuries. Köppel later denied accusations she had fled the scene, but accounts from witnesses stated otherwise.

Yesterday, a court barred her from leaving Turkey and required her to sign in at a police station every Friday.

In this case no immunity is being invoked,  Pierre-Alain Eltschinger,  General Secretary of the Switzerland Federal Department of Foreign Affairs said via an email interview with the Hürriyet Daily News.

Swiss Consul General Monika Schmutz Kırgöz said Köppel will not claim immunity and will cooperate with Turkish authorities until the investigation is concluded.

“It is still an ongoing investigation. We will fully, totally cooperate with the Turkish authorities and we do not claim immunity whatsoever. We will totally cooperate,” Schumtz told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday in a phone interview.

Schumtz also said her staff was shocked at the incident and they had turned their focus to Filiz İnal’s medical condition.

“My whole staff and I, we are totally in shock. We just hope Mrs. Filiz will get better soon. We want to focus on her health condition now,” Schumutz said.

Schumtz said that Köppel would appear in person if required to stand trial over the incident.

At the time of the accident, Doğan Durmuş İnal alleged Köppel was driving too fast.

“I was riding the motorbike and my wife was sitting behind me. We were both wearing helmets. After she honked, we couldn’t do anything. I was driving at 60 kilometers per hour. It’s a reasonable speed,” İnal said.


PRINTER FRIENDLY Send to friend »


Notice on comments

cezer "çapulcu" skonore

2/8/2013 9:27:00 PM

Commentators, it is just an accident!... Lets not collect the UN security council for a meeting for this case. I drive fast and furious in LA, I am a wizard of LA streets. But, when I am in Istanbul, I never drive, I take a cab and close my eyes.


2/8/2013 5:16:23 PM

How many hours after the hit and run did Mrs. Köppel turn herself in? Was this period long enough for her system to dissipate any alcohol she may had possibly injested? Is she under medication(s) which would prohibit driving? I am not advocating that she was intoxicated, I am simply thinking out loud. Commenter Richard Wyatt stated below that he guesses she paniced. Similarily and with no less clout, others may guess that she was intoxicated. In most hit and run cases this is #1 reason. Regards

john albay

2/8/2013 5:09:30 PM

@richard wyatt I agree with you. I hope that the swiss do not get the blame for this as Mrs Koeppel is German and does not have swiss citizenship.I also hope mrs Inal get better very soon.

Richard Wyatt

2/8/2013 3:00:07 PM

Who was driving/riding at 60 kilometres per hour? A reasonable speed in Bebek. I think not.... nowhere in Bebek is that a reasonable speed. Sounds as though, if İnal was doing 60, he will have to share the blame for the accident. Frau Köppel apparently fled the scene. Not a wise thing to do, but I guess she panicked. We can all panic in frightening situations, not that this excuses her actions, of course. A most unfortunate incident.
< >


AcerPro S.I.P.A HTML & CSS Agency