Former Turkish government minister Korkut Özal passes away

Former Turkish government minister Korkut Özal passes away

Former Turkish government minister Korkut Özal passes away

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Korkut Özal, who served as a minister in Turkey in the 1970s and later as an MP, died aged 87 of respiratory and circulatory failure on Nov. 1, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.

Özal, who was also the brother of the 8th President of Turkey, Turgut Özal, was born in the eastern province of Malatya in 1929.

His funeral ceremony will be held on Nov. 4 in Istanbul. 

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım issued a statement expressing his condolences after the death of Özal, saying Özal had served the country in difficult times. 

“Özal gained an esteemed place in the people’s heart with his democratic stance and appealing rhetoric. He was also a political fellow of [the Islamist former Turkish Prime Minister] Necmettin Erbakan, who led to protect our country’s emotional values. He was a serious statesman, a sincere patriot and a politician who had high humanitarian values,” Yıldırım stated.   

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Malatya deputy Veli Ağbaba also expressed his condolences after Özal’s death, noting that he was always proud of his roots in Malatya.

“I am grieving after the death of Özal. He was an important politician from Malatya and left a mark with his political career. I express my condolences to his family,” Ağbaba said.  

Özal, who trained as an engineer, served as agriculture minister twice in the 1970s and was briefly interior minister from 1977-1978.

He was elected to parliament as a legislator in 1995, two years after his brother Turgut’s death. Özal later chaired the small center-right Democrat Party from 1997 until his retirement from politics in 2001.