Turkey's DDK: Military teams possibly damaged helicopter after crash

The DDK report follows an extensive investigation into the accident, which was initiated on the order of President Abdullah Gül.

Turkey's DDK: Military teams possibly damaged helicopter after crash

World Bulletin / News Desk

Some parts of a helicopter in which six people, including Grand Unity Party (BBP) leader Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu, were killed in 2009 as a result of a crash may have been burned by military teams that arrived at the site of the crash hours after the accident, according to a report prepared by the State Audit Institution (DDK).

The DDK report follows an extensive investigation into the accident, which was initiated on the order of President Abdullah Gül.

The report said some parts of the helicopter were found burned after the crash, and it was probably the work of soldiers or gendarmes from the Special Forces Command and the Gendarmerie General Command.

A helicopter carrying Yazıcıoğlu and five others crashed in Kahramanmaraş as they were returning from an election rally in March 2009. Thousands of rescue workers tried in vain to find them despite snowstorms and heavy fog, without knowing the exact location of the wreck in a mountainous area of more than 30 square kilometers. Yazıcıoğlu, BBP Sivas Provincial Chairman Erhan Üstündağ, BBP Deputy Provincial Chairman Yüksel Yağcı, Sivas city council candidate Murat Çetinkaya and İhlas News Agency (İHA) reporter İsmail Güneş, along with pilot Kaya İstektepe, were traveling from Kahramanmaraş to Yozgat.

The victims' snow-covered bodies were eventually found by local villagers, 72 hours after the crash.

The fact that the victims were found so many hours after the incident and that Yazıcıoğlu was a prominent pro-democracy figure triggered claims that the crash was actually an assassination planned by an illegal organization.

"Large amounts of carbon monoxide"

The 45-page DDK report also said the most likely cause of the helicopter accident was loss of orientation by the pilot due to weather and terrain. It also underlined that some devices in the helicopter that would help determine the altitude and flight plan of the helicopter before the crash were either lost or stolen after the accident.

According to the report, heavy air traffic in the area could also be the reason for the helicopter crash. The report also questioned why doctors at the Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK) failed to explain the discovery of large amounts of carbon monoxide in the victims' blood. The DDK also called for a new civilian investigation into new probable causes of the helicopter crash.

In the meantime, President Gül spoke to reporters on Monday about the findings of the DDK report and said it would soon be forwarded to a civilian prosecutor's office for a detailed examination. The president also said he had ordered the DDK investigation into the deadly crash after a visit by Yazıcıoğlu's wife.

“Yazıcıoğlu's wife visited me around one year ago and asked me to order a detailed investigation into the helicopter crash by the DDK. And I ordered the DDK to conduct an investigation. … Now there is a court and prosecutors examining the accident. The report will be sent to them,” he noted.

Meanwhile, sources from the Kahramanmaraş Chief Public Prosecutor's Office said the office plans to expand the investigation into the helicopter crash as soon as it receives the DDK report.

Last Mod: 25 Ocak 2011, 16:46
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