Was Özal Poisoned?

…The exhumed body of Turkey’s late President Turgut Ozal, who led the country out of military rule in the 1980s, contained poison but the cause of death was unclear, local media reported an autopsy as showing on Wednesday.

There have long been rumours that Ozal, who died of heart failure in 1993 aged 65, was murdered by militants of the “deep state” – a shadowy group within the Turkish establishment of the day. Ozal had angered some with his efforts to end a Kurdish insurgency and survived an assassination bid in 1988.

Turkey’s forensic institute completed the autopsy on Tuesday and the results will be sent to prosecutors investigating suspicions of foul play, state-run Anatolian news agency said.

“Poison was detected in Ozal’s body during the analysis but experts could not agree on whether the cause of death was this poison,” broadcaster NTV reported.

Previous media reports have said Ozal’s body, dug up in October on the orders of prosecutors, revealed traces of insecticides, pesticides and radioactive elements… (click here for more)

The reactor accident at Chernobyl happened in 1986 and spewed radioactivity all over northern Turkey, irradiating the Turkish tea crop, which the government hid from consumers for months until a German newspaper reported that a truck carrying Turkish tea was stopped at the border for being radioactive. A Turkish minister (of agriculture?) appeared on TV sipping a glass of tea and claiming it was safe. (Years later, he died of cancer.) That’s seven years of imbibing possibly radioactive tea for Özal. And at the time DDT was still in widespread use in the countryside for crops. I myself once ate a delicious meal at a rural home, only to stroll around the back and see the farmer puffing DDT powder all over his plants from a hand-held pneumatic pump. No mask, of course. Every kitchen had its stove-top pot warming device, also used for making toast — a thin slab of asbestos in a wire frame with a handle. And then there was the abysmal air pollution of the 1970s and 80s. Until the cities went over to gas heat, everyone burned a soft, dirty sulfurous coal that spewed yellow gaseous fog and particles into the air. Anyone who lived in Turkey during those years would have collected quite a few “poisons” in his or her body.

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