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April 17 1993 —Turkish president Ozal dies

Ozal died at Ankara’s Hacettepe University Hospital after being taken ill in bed a few hours earlier

Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
Turkish President Turgut Ozal.
Gulf News

1993 President Turgut Ozal, whose vision of Turkey’s place in a changing world made him the nation’s best-known politician, died of heart problems. Ozal died at Ankara’s Hacettepe University Hospital after being taken ill in bed a few hours earlier. He leapt to prominence around the world during the 1990-1991 Gulf crisis when he threw Turkey’s weight behind the US-led coalition which expelled Iraq from Kuwait.

Ozal, who favoured close ties with the West, tirelessly promoted Turkey’s merits as a secular, democratic, free-market model for its Islamic and former Communist neighbours. Flags flew at half-mast across Turkey and state radio and television interrupted programmes to play sombre music after announcing Ozal’s death.

A medical report said Ozal had arrived at hospital with no pulse or respiratory activity. Efforts to revive him failed. UAE President His Highness Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan sent a cable of condolences to interim Turkish President and Parliamentary Speaker Hussamettin Cindoruk on the demise of Ozal.

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