Grand Unity Party (BBP) leader Mustafa Destici has announced that his party is prepared to do anything should the legal process regarding the helicopter crash in which the former leader of the party, Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu, lost his life not be resolved in a way that removes all doubt that it was in fact an assassination.
Destici pointed out that they submitted concrete information and documents about the incident to the specially authorized Malatya Prosecutor’s Office, and to the president of the republic, six months ago, “but there has been no satisfactory progress in the last six months.”
“We are not a group of people who have come together for personal benefit but for a mission. We are ready to do anything for our martyred leader,” he stressed at a press conference held at the BBP’s headquarters in Ankara on Friday.
Clearly frustrated at the ongoing legal process about the helicopter crash, which took place in March 2009 and in which six people, including Yazıcıoğlu, were killed, he said, “We do not believe that a through investigation based on the information and documents provided [to the officials] has been conducted.”
The helicopter crash has been investigated since March 2011 by the specially authorized Malatya Prosecutor’s Office. Specially authorized prosecutors have wide powers of interrogation, and Destici drew attention to the oddity that some suspicious people who might have been implicated in the affair still hadn’t been questioned by the prosecutor’s office.
“Today we are casting doubt on the Turkish Armed Forces [TSK], the civilian aviation institutions and other related institutions whose negligence and involvement [in the incident] has been indicated with strong evidence,” he noted, adding that the institutions in question should open their doors wide to the specially authorized prosecutor’s office, and that the prosecutors should make use of all their power.
Noting that five people out of the eight who were imprisoned on charges relating to the Yazıcıoğlu investigation had since been released, Destici said, “The fact that those who were imprisoned for charges such as tampering with evidence, forgery of documents and being a member of a [terrorist] organization have been released, even though the nature and the content of the crime has not changed in the meantime, has raised deep suspicions in us and the public.”
Destici spoke out in spite of a ruling issued by the prosecutor in May of last year that the investigations into the affair be carried out in secret. But Destici had misgivings about the fate of the investigation and said, “If what we say contributes positively to the ongoing legal process, then the secrecy ruling won’t stop us.”
Two Turkish dailies claimed on Friday that the documents submitted to the specially authorized prosecutors state that two military helicopters had arrived at the scene of the helicopter crash no more than 160 minutes after the tragic incident, a fact which was kept secret up until today. It was previously thought that villagers had found the dead bodies of the six victims and the wreckage 72 hours after the crash. Thousands of rescue workers tried in vain to find the wrecked helicopter in spite of snowstorms and heavy fog without knowing the exact location of the wreck, although it was later discovered that radar systems had been in a position to scan the area.