World Bulletin / News Desk
Work started early on Tuesday to open late President Turgut Özal's grave, as part of a belated investigation into the cause of the 1993 death of the president.
A criminal investigation team, a bomb disposal team, police officers and officials from the Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK) are standing ready at the gravesite. Heavy machinery was deployed to the area early in the morning to carry out the work at the site, which has been surrounded by steel walls so that it cannot be seen from outside.
İstanbul Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Oktay Erdoğan and ATK President Haluk İnce are also at Özal's gravesite -- located in İstanbul's Topkapı district -- to supervise the work.
İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor Turan Çolakkadı also inspected the exhumation site in the afternoon. In initial comments, Çolakkadı said experts found that Özal's body is “suitable for [forensic] examination.”
The case was opened earlier this year after a number of witnesses spoke of unusual circumstances on the day of the death of the then-president, who was reported to have suffered from a heart attack. The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office recently issued a warrant to exhume the remains of the president for toxicology testing.
The prosecutor's office is also investigating a number of unusual circumstances that came to light following Özal's supposed heart attack. Certain facts -- such as that on the day of his death his in-house doctor and nurse were both out, that staff were not able to start the ambulance due to a mechanical problem, the lack of first aid equipment at the presidential residence and other similar issues -- have led to suspicions surrounding the death of the former president.
In addition, the office is focused on inconsistencies between the statements of Özal's doctor and his family members regarding the lack of an autopsy. Özal's doctor, Cengiz Aslan, claimed that the family of the former president did not request an autopsy, but the Özal family has denied this claim.
In Baku, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu pushes more mutual investments and ending trade barriers with Azerbaijan
Draft constitution needs 330 votes to pave the way for referendum
Defense minister's suggestion of going back to 1920 Treaty of Sevres harmful to bilateral ties, foreign ministry says
Move by Turkey's main stock exchange follows President Erdogan's call to support local currency against US dollar
A protest outside Istanbul University had been organised by religious student associations who called for "imperialist Russia to leave Syria".
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on Turkish citizens on Dec. 2 to convert their foreign exchange into gold or the Turkish Lira, adding that there was no option other than cutting interest rates to spur growth.
Fetullah Gulen among 108 suspects named in investigation into alleged match-fixing scandals
These developments will be a footnote to our economy, says President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
At the 14th hearing of the case against Mavi Marmara, the prosecutor demanded that the case be dropped in accordance with the agreement signed with Israel.
3 soldiers also injured when PKK terror tried to infiltrate a military base
Turkish, German leaders discuss peace talks in Cyprus and conflict-hit Syrian city of Aleppo
Police source says arrest of Halfeti Mayor Mustafa Bayram is part of anti-terror investigation
The best way is going to the people even if the proposed changes get 367 votes in parliament, says Numan Kurtulmus
Ankara becomes six-month chair of Parliamentary Assembly of Black Sea Economic Cooperation
Infamous 1916 agreement carved Near East up into British, French zones of influence
FETO designated terrorist organization in final declaration of Asian Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Cambodia