World Bulletin / News Desk
The death of Hakan Öksüz -- an engineer working for ASELSAN, a defense industry giant that produces technology for the Turkish military -- who was killed in a traffic accident last month in Ankara, is being viewed with deep suspicion by his family, who believe that he may have been murdered.
The 42-year-old engineer was found dead in his car, which crashed into a road barrier on Jan. 25 in Ankara, an accident his family believes was set up. He had been working for ASELSAN, a company that has come to be associated with the suspicious deaths of four of its engineers within the last seven years. The Öksüz family says they are deeply suspicious about what really happened and will be filing a complaint with the prosecutor's office in order to have an investigation opened into his death.
Some further details have strengthened the family's resolve that the engineer's death was not an accident but a planned assassination. One of the details strengthening the suspicions is that Öksüz, who had been working on a critical military projects for ASELSAN for many years, sent his family to his hometown, Kahramanmaraş, a year ago reportedly stating: “They are going to hurt me. I don't want to see you harmed. I am under a lot of psychological pressure now.” He frequently told his wife not to tell anybody that he worked for ASELSAN. His family says he was spending great efforts to keep his family out of Ankara in order to protect them from any possible threat.
Another detail is that Öksüz was subject to an attack in 2007, which was around the time that at least two other engineers were found dead. Öksüz was kidnapped by unidentified persons, who took his bank cards and their PIN codes by force, and stabbed him in the throat, seriously injuring him. The next day, the unconscious body of the engineer was found under a bridge by municipal sanitation workers who thought the engineer was already dead. Öksüz was taken to a hospital where he underwent treatment and was in recovery for a long time. The kidnappers, who police have not been able to track down, emptied his bank accounts. Öksüz's family believes the incident was not investigated satisfactorily at that time by police, who they claim tried to cover up the incident.
Öksüz had been at work on the day he got into the accident, but there was no company access card or identity card found on him or at the scene.
Five ASELSAN engineers have died since 2006, and all five of the deaths have been viewed with suspicion.
Hüseyin Başbilen, a mechanical engineer who worked for ASELSAN for 10 years, was 31 when he was found dead on Aug. 7, 2006, in his automobile in Ankara's Pursaklar district. Suicide was listed as the cause of his death. He was working on a critical project that would have largely freed the Turkish defense industry from depending on foreign technology.
Halim Ünsem Ünal was an electrical engineer. He was 29 when he was found dead near Lake Eymir in Ankara -- killed by a single bullet to his head -- on Jan. 17, 2007. He was working on a critical project in Mikes, an ASELSAN subsidiary, concerning the modernization of F-16 fighter jets. Evrim Yançeken, also an ASELSAN electrical engineer, reportedly killed himself at age 26 by jumping off the sixth floor of his apartment building. All three cases were closed by the prosecutor's office as suicide cases with little or no investigation.
The fourth “suicide” in this chain of suspicious deaths was that of Burhaneddin Volkan, an ASELSAN engineer who was found dead in October 2009 during his military service. His father, Mahmut Volkan, like the families of the other three engineers who died, says he has not believed even for a second that his son committed suicide. Mahmut Volkan spoke to the Akit daily on Tuesday, saying he had talked to prosecutor Fikret Seçen, who was conducting an investigation into Ergenekon at the time of Vokan's death. The fifth death was that of Engineer Öksüz in January.Last Mod: 04 Şubat 2013, 18:01