A court removed an earlier verdict to close the case on a 2009 helicopter crash that killed Grand Unity Party (BBP) leader Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu, paving the way for a new inquiry into his death blamed on the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).
Yazıcıoğlu, a renowned nationalist who founded the BBP after splitting from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), was on the campaign trail in southern Turkey's Kahramanmaraş when the helicopter carrying him, a journalist and party officials crashed in a mountainous area. Prosecutors decided for nonsuit in the case two years ago, but the politician's family had demanded prosecutors re-file a criminal complaint regarding the helicopter accident. The family and his party always maintained that the terrorist group might have played a role in the accident as the party leader was known for his staunch opposition to FETÖ's clout in Turkey. The family's lawyers have pointed to a speech by Fetullah Gülen days after the accident that says Yazıcıoğlu was granted "a divine blow" without openly referring to the late politician.
132 suspects, from police to military officers involved in the search and rescue work after the crash, were originally included in the probe before the declaration of nonsuit. Some suspects were jailed after the 2016 coup attempt by FETÖ for their links to the terrorist group.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Kemal Yavuz, a lawyer for the BBP in the case, said removal of the nonsuit was an important step, and it covered 20 defendants. "Most of them are linked to FETÖ and jailed for it," he pointed out.
The first indictment against suspects in the case had pointed out that some officers prevented or hindered search and rescue work at the crash site deliberately, ultimately leading to the deaths of Yazıcıoğlu and five others, including journalist İsmail Güneş who contacted emergency services for help before he was found dead at the crash site.