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Late Turkish President Turgut Özal : Had he been poisoned indeed ? Confusing reports from forensics
02 Kasım, 2012 | 12:23
Former Turkish president Turgut Ozal had been killed by a highly venomous poison in 1993, Turkish dailies claim

Former Turkish president Turgut Ozal had been killed by a highly venomous poison in 1993, Turkish dailies claim

Experts state former Turkish President Turgut Özal was poisoned yet the autopsy report on late President Turgut Özal has yet to be finished, the head of the Forensic Medicine Institute noted, dismissing claims that evidence had been found indicating that the ex-head of state had been poisoned.

Ankara / NationalTurk – Reports suggest that former Turkish President Turgut Özal was poisoned, according to the results of the exhumation of the late Turkish head of state’s remains which was carried out at the beginning of October.

According to forensic experts’ conclusion traces of strong strychnine-based poison was found in the samples. According to the experts the poison might have been taken in with food or a drink.

As part of the Ankara Prosecution office’s investigation, Özal’s body was exhumed from his grave earlier this year in order for samples to be collected for the investigation.

Turgut Özal died on 17 April 1993 and the official cause of death was heart attack. Ozal, the eighth president of the Turkish Republic, died of heart failure in April of 1993 at an Ankara hospital at the age of 65 while serving in office.

The statement followed earlier reports by a minor farty Turkish daily that claimed a poisonous substance had been found in samples taken from the former president’s body, leading to suspicions the leader may have been poisoned. The claim was reportedly based on an autopsy report conducted on Özal’s body.

Forensic Medicine Institute head Haluk İnce states the institute had yet to finalize the autopsy report.

“The report is not even finished yet. Our work continues. We have several results that are out, but we are in the process of confirming thousands of results through repeated procedures. We haven’t sent anyone any reports yet,” İnce said. ATK head Haluk Ince, however, released a statement on Friday stating that the autopsy report has not yet been completed and examinations still continue.

After the reburial of Ozal, the ATK said it would release its report in two months.

“We do not know how that story was formed,” İnce continued. “We did not find the substance claimed to have been found. We are not the source of the story.”

Earlier reports claimed to have obtained an autopsy report conducted on Özal that confirmed the presence of the poisonous chemical strychnine keratin in his body. Tthe examination revealed a high level of strychnine in his body.

Strychnine is a powerful poison that leads to respiratory failure in 15-20 minutes in human body and could also cause a heart attack.

“The public should not pay attention to such stories,” İnce said.

Former Turkish president Turgut Ozal had been killed by a highly venomous poison in 1993, Turkish dailies claim

Citing an unpublished autopsy report prepared by the Forensic Medicine Institute (ATK), the Today Daily said in its report that Turgut Ozal was poisoned by “strychnine creatine”.

An investigation into the suspicious death of the former president began 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 a heart attack.

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office recently issued a warrant to exhume the remains of the president for toxicology testing.

Prosecutors decided in September that Ozal’s remains should be exhumed and an autopsy performed after a state supervisory board, acting on the order of President Abdullah Gul, released a report in June that voiced suspicions about the death.

The report was ordered in response to the suspicions of Ozal’s family and friends about his death and a subsequent investigation.

In the leaked autopsy report, the daily claims that the doctors who conducted the autopsy investigated Ozal’s bone marrow, parts of his internal organs and examples of other parts of his body.

But Ozal’s son Ahmet Ozal, who earlier alleged that his father had been poisoned, was quoted on Friday by Turkish media saying that he was told his father might have been poisoned.

The prosecutor’s office is also investigating a number of unusual circumstances that came to light following Ozal’s alleged heart attack.

After a period of military rule following the country’s 1980 coup, Ozal dominated Turkish politics as prime minister from 1983- 89, after which Parliament elected him president.

While prime minister, Ozal survived an assassination attempt by a right-wing gunman in 1988 when he was shot at a party congress, suffering only a wound to his finger.

Seen as a visionary who helped shape modern Turkey with free market economic policies, Ozal also lent firm support to the West, backing the US-led coalition that expelled Iraq from Kuwait in 1991.

Ozal led Turkey out of military rule in the 1980s and drove far- reaching economic reform. But Ozal is also regarded as the leader who legitimated and initiated corruption and inducement in the state.

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