Deputy prime minister still has doubts about Özal’s death

Deputy prime minister still has doubts about Özal’s death

Deputy prime minister still has doubts about Özal’s death

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ. AA Photo

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on Dec. 12 that he still has doubts about whether late President Turgut Özal’s died of natural causes.

“In my opinion, the report didn’t eliminate the doubts. At least, my doubts continue,” Bozdağ told reporters at Parliament.

His remarks came when he was asked about media reports that an autopsy showed that the exhumed body of Özal, who led the country out of military rule in the 1980s, contained poison but the cause of death was unclear.

He had the very same doubts the day Özal died in 1993, Bozdağ said, adding that the Forensic Medicine Institute had not eliminated the doubts but rather raised more questions.

“If there is poison in his body, where did this poison come from, did the body produce it?” Bozdağ said. He added that he couldn’t see any particular explanation on this point within the reports and that he was curious.

The investigation is still continuing and everybody will see together what it includes, Bozdağ said when asked whether the scope of the investigation might be expanded.

There have long been rumors that Özal, who died of heart failure in 1993 aged 65, was murdered by militants of the “deep state” – a shadowy group within the Turkish establishment of the day. Özal had angered some with his efforts to end a Kurdish insurgency and survived an assassination attempt in 1988.

The Forensic Medicine Institute completed the autopsy on Dec. 11 and the results will be sent to prosecutors investigating suspicions of foul play, state-run Anatolia news agency said.

“Poison was detected in Özal’s body during the analysis, but experts could not agree on whether the cause of death was this poison,” broadcaster NTV reported.