World Bulletin / News Desk
Ahmet Özal, the son of former President Turgut Özal, whose body might be exhumed from his İstanbul grave as part of a belated investigation into the circumstances of his death, has said on a TV program that there have were previous attempts on his father's life, but has also told prosecutors he did not want the grave to be opened.
The Ankara Prosecutor's Office is investigating Turgut Özal's 1993 death. The case was opened earlier this year, after a number of witnesses spoke of unusual circumstances on the day of the death of the president, who was reported to have suffered from a heart attack. The prosecutor's office recently issued a warrant to exhume the remains of the president for toxicology testing.
The grave has not been opened yet, but a small army of reporters have been waiting near the monument. Authorities have not given a specific time for the exhumation, but all work around the monument will be carried out under the supervision of the İstanbul Prosecutor's Office. The toxicology tests will be conducted by the Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK).
As reporters waited near the monument on Monday, Ahmet Özal, one of the people whose statements were crucial in opening the investigation into the president's death 19 years after the fact, went to the Çağlayan Courthouse in İstanbul to talk to prosecutor Turhan Çolakkadı. Reportedly, Ahmet Özal told the prosecutor that he was against the exhumation of his father's body. According to reports, the stance against opening the grave was a family decision, based on the family's convictions concerning respect for the dead.
Ahmet Özal's unwillingness to support the exhumation is surprising as he has repeatedly given newspaper interviews stating that his father escaped a number of assassination attempts.
Turgut Özal survived one such attempt on June 18, 1988, when gunman Kartal Demirağ was prevented at the last second from firing on the then-prime minister by Motherland Party (ANAP) delegate Ali Ünal. The incident took place at a party congress at the Ankara Atatürk Sports Hall.
Ünal, who has also spoken to the press about the assassination, said he was certain that individuals from the intelligence department and police department were behind the Demirağ shooting attempt. Ünal also claimed that Özal knew who was behind the attempt, but couldn't take further action, an allegation voiced by various other people in the past. Ünal has recalled: “I saw three other people next to Demirağ that day, one of who was a woman. Nobody even wanted to find out their identities. I wasn't shown any photographs or camera footage [by the police] or asked to identify anybody in the congress hall that day.”
Ahmet Özal on Monday spoke about another assassination attempt that happened in public, speaking to Sevil Atasoy, a forensic expert whose program “Crime and Evidence” on CNN Türk hosted the late president's son.
Ahmet Özal told Atasoy that a private jet owned by his father with 13 people onboard, including his father and him, nearly crashed shortly after taking off from the Yeşilköy Airport due to an electrical issue in circuits near the wings. He didn't name the exact date, but said an accident report issued later compiled by the manufacturer, Goldsteram, said some screws on the wings were too tight. “Things like that don't happen. It is impossible for something like that to happen because one nail was screwed too tightly. That whole thing was a lie,” Ahmet Özal charged.
Ahmet Özal, who seemed to be holding back tears as Mustafa Sarsılmaz, a doctor who was on duty at the Gülhane Military Academy of Medicine (GATA) where the president was taken after his supposed heart attack, recalled the events of the day, speaking on the same program.
Ahmet Özal said those behind the Demirağ assassination attempt were some of Turkey's most influential people, noting he hopes that one day all the classified documents in state archives relating to his father's death will be made public.
Mashaal called Erdogan and informed him about the deal with Fatah, according to the Turkish Prime Ministry.
A Hannover court threw out the case of a German couple seeking a refund for their holiday.
In 2014, Turkey’s electricity imports have risen due to lower than expected rains in winter and spring, and as a result hydropower plants did not meet their goal of providing a quarter of Turkey's electricity.
The number of publications in Kurdish has increased to 413 in the last year from 101 publications in 2008, statistics show.
The 1915 events took place during World War I, when a portion of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire sided with the invading Russians and rose up against the Ottoman authority. The uprisings were followed by a decision by the Ottoman Empire to relocate the Armenians living in eastern Anatolia.
Turkish dailies on Thursday are covering Turkish PM's paying tribute to Armenians who died in 1915.
Turkey has called for the research of the 1915 events to be carried out by a commission of Turkish, Armenian and international historians, the Turkish Prime Ministry said in a statement earlier on Wednesday ahead of the anniversary of the events.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan offered what the government said were unprecedented condolences to the grandchildren of Armenians killed in World War One
Convoy bound for Suleiman Shah Tomb in Turkish territory is planned activity, says military chief
AK Party Spokesman Celik still debating whether new election system will be a single member or narrowed district.
Turkish police say they plan to deport 135 illegal immigrants, including 120 Pakistanis.
Turkey condemned the forceful removal of the Ukrainian flag in the Crimean Tatar Mejlis by a group with unmarked military uniforms.
Turkey is looking good to potential investors according to visitors to the Borsa Istanbul forum in New York.
Turkey's President Gul calls for further cooperation with New Zealand on economy and commerce as he hosts New Zealand Governor-General Mateparae.
Former ministers will attend parliamentary debate corruption inquiry.
"The people do not want to see protesters clashing with police in the street. The people don't want streets scenes dominated by stones, sticks and Molotov cocktails" Erdogan said