Driver, owner of vehicle that killed chief public prosecutor arrested in Turkey’s west
DENİZLİThe driver and the owner of a truck that crashed into a car carrying a chief public prosecutor and his personal driver, who were both killed, in the western province of Denizli were arrested on May 14, Doğan News Agency has reported.
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 on May 10.
Uğur Tufan, the driver of the truck, and Zeki A., the owner of the truck, were arrested on charges of “involuntary manslaughter” after appearing in court.
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 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.
Tufan, who fled the scene after the deadly accident, was detained.
A statement released from the Denizli Governor’s Office said the accident occurred after the truck driver failed to take a “stop” sign into consideration while approaching an intersection.
The statement also said an investigation was launched into the incident.
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 have been evaluating whether the accident was an assassination against the prosecutor, Doğan News Agency reported.
Speaking about the incident, Denizli Governor Ahmet Altıparmak said the driving license of Tufan was previously seized for 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 deliberate act 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.