Drop Probe of Premier’s Daughter, Son-in-law
ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) _ Prosecutors on Wednesday dropped an investigation of Premier Turgut Ozal’s daughter and son-in-law because of insufficient evidence, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.
Prosecutor Celil Demircioglu was quoted by Anatolia as saying he had investigated every aspect of the allegations that Zeynep Ekren and his wife Asim had agreed to accept a luxury car for a political favor.
News reports last week said the city of Istanbul ordered the demolition of a repair shop run by Turkey’s Jaguar automobile distributor because it had been built without the necessary permits.
The newspapers, which did not name their sources, said the demolition order was ignored allegedly as a result of pressure from Mrs. Ekren.
Following the newspaper articles, the building was torn down last week.
The newspapers quoted the Turkish distributor of Jaguars, Zeki Kucukberber, as claiming Ozal’s daughter and her husband, whom he described as his closest friends, had agreed to accept a Jaguar as a gift.
But Kucukberber said he made the offer only to show his affection, the newspapers reported.
When the news reports began appearing, Ozal said he warned his daughter not to accept the gift.
It was never made clear, either by the premier or press reports, whether Mrs. Ekren took possession of the car.
Prosecutor Demiroglu said the probe was aimed at determining whether the couple violated a clause of the criminal code that carries a prison sentence of up to five years for those who use or agree to use their personal influence on government officials and receive gifts in exchange.