A newspaper story claimed that the late President Turgut Özal, whose body was exhumed from his İstanbul grave as part of a probe into the circumstances surrounding his death, was killed by a highly deadly poison according to an unpublished autopsy report prepared by the Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK). Although the report was immediately denied by the ATK, it showed that the public was already ready to believe Özal was assassinated, some columnists assert.
The Star daily's Fehmi Koru pointed out that even though the claim was immediately dismissed by the ATK, the public's reaction to the claim was noteworthy as the majority were not surprised by it, showing that it is commonly believed the late president was actually poisoned. He expressed his hope that the ATK will complete its autopsy and let people know the truth at once.
Bugün columnist Gülay Göktürk believes that once the final results are released by the ATK, Turkey will confront the greatest assassination of its history. We cannot yet know who planned or perpetrated the murder but, to come up with possible suspects, we have to have a look at the incidents of 1993. Most of the officers killed in the 1990s were known for their more democratic approach to the Kurdish question, she wrote, and gave examples:
In 1993, journalist Uğur Mumcu, who was believed to have found some striking facts about drug trafficking by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), was killed; former Minister Ahmet Kahveci, whom Özal would consult with regards to solving the Kurdish issue, died in a suspicious traffic accident; former gendarmerie commander, Gen. Eşref Bitlis, who argued that the Kurdish issue could not be solved with weapons, died in a suspicious plane crash; former deputy Mehmet Sincar, who supported Kurds in legal cases, was killed in a street in Batman; and, finally, Özal, who dedicated his final years to solving the long-standing Kurdish question, died.
The fact that the Kurdish issue is the common point among all of these people who died gives us a clue as to who may have plotted their deaths. There is no doubt that the deep state, or so-called Ergenekon terrorist organization, which can more easily continue its existence when there is a terrorism problem in the country, would hamper any change in the state's policy of not acknowledging the Kurdish ethnicity. So, if Özal's death is indeed proved to have been caused by poisoning, the probe into Ergenekon will return to our agenda, she noted.