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27th Zilhaj 1435 | Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014
Islamic World

Poison found on late Turkey president not lethal: press

Saturday, 8 December 2012
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Istanbul, December 08:

The traces of poison found in an autopsy on the exhumed remains of Turkish president Turgut Ozal, who died in office in 1993, were too minute to be lethal, the pro-government daily Sabah reported today.

The insecticide DDT, heavy metal cadmium and radioactive substances polonium and americium were present in "minute
doses", Sabah said, quoting a Forensic Medicine Council report to be released in the coming days.

The presence of DDT could be explained by its heavy usage at the time, while the other poisons could have entered the body through the earth, it added.

But late last month, another pro-government daily reported that pathologists had discovered the presence of DDT
at 10 times the level considered normal and heavy doses of the other poisons.

The pathologists considered that together the poisons were enough to kill Ozal, the daily Today's Zaman had said.

Ozal's remains were exhumed from his mausoleum in early October after prosecutors issued a warrant for toxicology
tests.

Family members have long believed that Ozal, an ethnic Kurd who was seeking a negotiated solution to the bloody
conflict with Kurdish separatists in the southeast when he died, was poisoned.

The belated autopsy was requested following a presidential palace report that ruled the death "suspicious",
citing the absence of an investigation and missing blood test results.

Inconsistent witness reports regarding the day of Ozal's death further added to the controversy.

Ozal became Turkey's eighth president in 1989. When he died in office aged 65, the cause of death was given as heart failure.

Fighting between Turkish soldiers and Kurdish separatists has claimed more than 45,000 lives since 1984, according to the army.

----------------------------------(AFP)

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