Former Turkish PM Mesut Yılmaz’s son found dead in Istanbul home
Mehmet Yavuz Yılmaz, the eldest son of former Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz, was found dead at his residence in Istanbul early on Dec. 16. He was 38.
Yılmaz was found shot in the head with a single bullet at his residence in the Beykoz district of the city. A Smith & Wesson gun registered to the former prime minister was also found next to him.
Police are evaluating the possibility of suicide and the cause of death will be revealed following an autopsy.
According to initial reports, Yılmaz arrived at his villa in the C-97 Bloc of the Beykoz Konakları and sent his bodyguards home a day earlier.
The bodyguards later arrived at the villa and after no one opened the door they managed to open it with the help of a locksmith, after which they found Yılmaz shot in the head in his bedroom.
Former Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz and his spouse Berna Yılmaz were in Los Angeles at the time of the incident. They arrived at around 8 p.m. in Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport, where they were informed about their son’s death.
Earlier in the day, businessman Abdurrahim Albayrak told reporters that the couple was in the U.S. for medical treatment.
When asked about a possibility of suicide, Albayrak said Yılmaz did not leave any note and stated that the cause of his death was not immediately clear.
Upon their arrival, the former prime minister and Berna Yılmaz headed to the hospital where their son’s body was taken.
Yılmaz will be laid to rest at the Kanlıca Cemetery in Istanbul on Dec. 18 following afternoon prayers.
He had completed his college education in Salzburg, Austria and graduated with a degree in international trade and marketing from George Washington University in the U.S.
He later set up an investment company partnered with his brother Emir Hasan Yılmaz and the two brothers also engaged in excavation works at Istanbul’s under-construction third airport. Ahead of Turkey’s June 2015 election, Yılmaz tried but failed to stand as a candidate for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
Condolences poured in for Yılmaz from a number of high-ranking state officials and reports of his death were received during an early parliamentary session.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu confirmed the reports of Yılmaz’s death and extended his condolences.
Late on Dec. 16, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called the former prime minister to extend his condolences.
“The death of Mehmet Yavuz Yılmaz, the son of one of prime ministers of the Republic of Turkey Mesut Yılmaz, has deeply saddened us. I sincerely share the grief of the Yılmaz family,” Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said in a statement.
He also paid a condolence visit to the former prime minister with his spouse Semiha Yıldırım on Dec. 17.
Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman also extended his condolences.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu called the brothers of Mesut Yılmaz to extend his condolences and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli stated that he shared the grief of the Yılmaz family.
Separately, Istanbul Kent University released a statement as Yılmaz was an executive committee member of the university, noting that he had recently been suffering from heavy stress due to the complications of temporal lobe epilepsy.
From 1991 to 2002, Mesut Yılmaz was the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP) following Turgut Özal’s election to the presidency in 1989. He served three times as Turkey’s prime minister, with the first two terms lasting just a few months in 1991 and 1996. The third ran from June 1997 to January 1999 amid the breakdown of his coalition governments.