Car accident kills chief public prosecutor in Turkey’s west

Car accident kills chief public prosecutor in Turkey’s west

Car accident kills chief public prosecutor in Turkey’s west

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A chief public prosecutor and his driver were killed in a car accident in the Merkezefendi district of the western province of Denizli on May 10. 

Denizli Chief Public Prosecutor Mustafa Alper, 48, and his driver Muzaffer Akşehirli were killed when a truck laden with excavations crashed into their car on a highway.

Alper, his bodyguard Ramazan Uğur and Akşehirli were heading to a prison in the Honaz district at around 8:30 a.m. when the truck, driven by Uğur Tufan, 53, hit their car. The car was dragged under the truck for five meters before the truck and the excavations in it smashed the car. 

Uğur was taken to the Denizli State Hospital as courthouse employees and his colleagues poured to the scene of the accident. Uğur’s condition was not said to be life threatening. 

Denizli Governor Ahmet Altıparmak arrived at the scene and obtained information. 

Tufan who fled the scene after the deadly accident, was detained.

Alper and Akşehirli’s bodies were taken to Pamukkale University Hospital’s morgue for an autopsy. 

Chief public prosecutors of the western province of İzmir and the southern province of Antalya visited the hospital to express their condolences.  

A statement was released from the Denizli Governor’s Office later in the day, which said the accident occurred due to the truck driver not taking the “stop” sign into consideration while approaching an intersection. 

The statement also said an investigation was launched into the incident. 

“We are experiencing the deep sorrow of losing a precious statesman and a lawman in an accident,” it added. 

Alper was the first chief public prosecutor to launch an investigation into the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) after the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the group. 

Authorities are evaluating whether the accident was an assassination against the prosecutor, Doğan News Agency reported. 

Speaking about the incident, Altıparmak said the driving license of Tufan, who had left the scene right after the accident, was previously seized after he was caught drunk driving. 

“The security forces found him. Unfortunately, he doesn’t even have a driving license. It had been seized until 2019. He made us go through such an accident and made Alper’s family experience sorrow,” Altıparmak said, adding that the “first evaluations did not point to an assassination.” 

“The road where the accident happened isn’t one that is used by our prosecutor every day. It’s a road he used to go to prison from time to time and it’s not a route that he regularly uses. When we examine the incident, we see that a pursuit is out of question. These are our initial findings,” he said. 

In his testimony, Tufan said he escaped the scene because he was afraid, adding that he doesn’t remember the moment of the accident.

“When I regained consciousness, the truck was lying on top of the car, and after looking at it, I ran away,” Tufan told the police. 

Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, meanwhile, visited Alper’s family to offer his condolences.
Elsewhere, an investigation was launched into Emre Uslu, a fugitive columnist and a former police official sought over being a follower of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, over tweets he sent regarding the deadly accident. 

“The Denizli chief public prosecutor sent thousands of innocent women, children and young people to jail. He died after a truck fell on him. Long live hell for the cruel,” Uslu said on Twitter on May 10.

Uslu’s remarks were met with a furious reaction from Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, who called Uslu “FETÖ’s dog on a leash.” 

“FETÖ and his dogs can’t decide on who will go to heaven or hell,” Bozdağ tweeted.