Prosecutors say former Turkish president Özal 'murdered' in questioning of ex-general

Prosecutors say former Turkish president Özal 'murdered' in questioning of ex-general

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Prosecutors say former Turkish president Özal murdered in questioning of ex-general

Turkey’s eighth president Turgut Özal. Hürriyet photo

Prosecutors have asked former General Levent Ersöz about his role “in the murder of Turkey’s eighth president Turgut Özal,” acting on allegations that he was complicit in the murder.

“It is understood that you participated in the murder of eighth president Turgut Özal by poisoning him; testify about this accusation,” Ankara Public Prosecutor Kemal Çetin asked Ersöz , on April 2, in Istanbul’s Çapa Medicine School’s hospital where Ersöz’s treatment continues.

Ersöz, who is also a suspect in the Ergenekon coup plot case, was interrogated for three hours and denied all charges.

In an autopsy last December, Turkey’s Forensic Medicine Institute (ATK) did not find any evidence that Özal was poisoned, however the Ankara Chief Prosecution Office said the investigation would resume with the help of other findings and asked questions about the alleged murder.

Ersöz was summoned “as a suspect of a plot against a president in office and murder,” the revealed details of the interrogation show.

“Considering the discrepancies between the developments leading to the death of the late president and the testimonies on the basic facts, there are strong suspicions that [Özal] was the victim of an organized murder,” the details continued.

Özal died of heart failure in 1993 aged 65, at a time when he was engaged in efforts to end the Kurdish insurgency through dialogue. There have long been rumors that this initiative angered militants of the “deep state” within the Turkish establishment of the day, and that he may have been poisoned as a result.