Remains of ex-Turkish President not decomposed, minister says

Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said that the exhumed body of Özal is suitable for [forensic] examination to reveal if Özal was poisoned, or died unnaturally.

Remains of ex-Turkish President not decomposed, minister says

World Bulletin / News Desk 

The remains of former president Turgut Özal have not entirely decomposed during the period of burial, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said on a TV program on Tuesday.

Ergin, appearing on Bugün TV program “Parliamentary House of Representatives,” talked about the exhumation of Özal's body as part of a new probe into the cause of his death. Ergin stated, “The exhumed body of Özal is suitable for [forensic] examination to reveal if Özal was poisoned, or died unnaturally.”

The minister added that forensic medical experts had found more material than they had expected before the exhumation. "The experts were asking themselves if they could carry out DNA testing from hair or bone samples of the former president, but they obtained a great amount of material for the examination of the body, following the opening of the grave," said Ergin, adding that he hopes speculation around the cause of Özal's death will end after the body is examined by forensic experts.

The remains of Özal from the waist to the shoulders have been well-preserved due to a water source found in the cemetery, which has served as an antibacterial wash and prevented decay, according to experts. The internal organs of the former president have not decomposed over the course of 19 years.

The grave of late President Özal was opened on Tuesday and his remains exhumed as part of a belated investigation into the cause of his death in 1993.

In March, President Abdullah Gül ordered the State Audit Institution (DDK) to launch an investigation into the cause of Özal's death. The DDK submitted a report to Gül stating that Özal may not have been the victim of a heart attack and calling on prosecutors to investigate the matter.

Prosecutors decided two weeks ago that Özal's remains should be exhumed and an autopsy performed.

Özal, the eighth president of the Turkish Republic, died of heart failure in April 1993 at an Ankara hospital at the age of 65 while still in office.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Ekim 2012, 16:17
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