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Euzal and the Kurdish issue.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- There have always been controversies about how late President Turgut Euzal died in 1993. A significant portion of the public, including his family members, believes that he was assassinated. In addition to the unbelievable incidents that occurred when he had a heart attack in the Ecankaya presidential palace, such as the state of unpreparedness, the inability to find a physician to respond to the situation and the strange developments in the hospital he was taken to, the main thing that gave rise to suspicions was the manner of Euzal's statesmanship.

Euzal's party had come to power, thanks to high electoral appeal, as the only civilian alternative to the two pro-tutelary parties backed by the junta in the first parliamentary elections held in the wake of the military coup of 1980. In general, our juntas stage coups in the following manner: They overthrow the government, and in order not to lose the West's backing, they are forced to say: "We had to stage a coup as the country was on the brink of a disaster. We are loyal to democracy. As you see, we leave the administration to civilians at the earliest opportunity." And, at the same time, in order to pay lip service to the act of transferring the administration to civilians, they appoint "civilian" politicians who would be tied to their apron strings.

But this didn't happen in 1983. Actually, this had not happened also in the coups of 1960 and 1970. The public took the advantage of using the only opportunity allowed by this authoritarian secularist republic, i.e., the parliamentary elections held every five (now four) years, and in every election, they opted to elect civilians. One of these civilians was Euzal's Motherland Party (ANAVATAN).

But Euzal was not a figure that emerged out of the blue. He was the architect of the Jan. 24, 1980 decisions that dealt the fatal blow to the single party administration's favorite closed economy. In other words, the country had transitioned to liberal free market conditions through the infrastructure established by Euzal.

But Euzal did not stop there in 1983. He started to change the economic/political state-oriented rules that served to isolate Turkey from the external world. He established and maintained a powerful administration. He could even remove the chief of General Staff and Land Forces commander from office when they refused to obey him.

Euzal was pursuing an aggressive policy of opening Turkey to the external world. He had a heterodox approach to the country's long entrenched problems such as the Kurdish, Armenian and Cyprus issues. In a sense, Euzal was the antithesis of the Kemalist state, at least in his early years. When he died a suspicious death, everyone believed that Euzal had been assassinated by the deep state.

For long, these suspicions were not investigated. However, when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) lent its support to bold prosecutors who probed into the dirty affairs of the deep state in the investigations into Ergenekon -- a clandestine organization nested within the state trying to overthrow or manipulate the democratically elected government -- and the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plan, these suspicions came to be voiced in a more pronounced manner. No autopsy had been performed on Euzal's dead body. His family believed that he had been assassinated. There were talks between President Abdullah GE-l and Euzal's relatives. Mr. GE-l put the State Audit Institution (DDK) to the task. As part of an investigation launched by the prosecutor's office, Euzal's body was exhumed and sent to the Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK) for examination. Last week, in breaking news, we heard that the ATK found traces of poisonous substances in the body.

The final report will soon be sent to the prosecutor's office. The truth will hopefully come out. Euzal's son Ahmet Euzal's following words were very remarkable. Ahmet Euzal said that during his father's final visit, his father had a special meeting with him and told him: "Turkey's biggest problem is the Kurdish issue. Upon returning from my visit, I will take a great risk and return to active politics in order to solve this problem." Former Labor Minister ymren Aykut confirms Ahmet Euzal's disclosure. Aykut says: "At the time, the Kurdish issue was not a hot topic. It was not a problem that was challenging the state. And I was surprised to see him attach such great importance to this issue."

Obviously, Euzal was very far-sighted, and he had realized that the Kurdish issue had the potential to snowball into a major problem for the country. If Euzal was assassinated, I think, the main reason was because of his determination to solve this problem.

MARKAR ESAYAN (Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Nov 5, 2012
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