Global Affairs June 7, 2024 by

Hasan Sevilir Aşan

The Raisi helicopter accident and beyond

The death of Iranian President Raisi in a helicopter crash near Tabriz has caused significant repercussions in international public opinion. Similar plane crashes, accompanied by conspiracy theories, have once again come to the forefront.

It is well-known that in recent history, numerous political leaders, statesmen, and public figures have lost their lives in what are often referred to as controversial accidents involving planes and helicopters.
In the most recent helicopter accident, attributed to adverse weather conditions and technical deficiencies, Iranian President Raisi, Foreign Minister Abdullahyan, the Spiritual Leader’s Tabriz Ayatollah Friday Imam, and the Governor of East Azerbaijan Province lost their lives.

The circumstances surrounding the accident, the ambiguities in the search and rescue process, as well as Iran’s internal political conflicts and regional tensions, have fueled conspiracy theories and raised many questions.

Additionally, alongside the allegatons of assasination in many accidents, the potential risks of high- ranking government officials and important personalities travelling together on the same plane heva been brought to attention.


About 30-35 years ago, the then-president of Pakistan, Zia-ul-Haq, lost his life along with the Chief of General Staff, the commanders of the forces, and the US Ambassador due to a plane explosion during a military exercise.

In the face of accident and assassination allegations, discussions arose regarding the travel practices of VIP statesmen and senior management traveling together. In the UK, the King, Queen, and Crown Princes are known to travel on separate planes. This practice also applies to many other kingdoms and monarchies. Similarly, the U.S. President and Vice President do not travel on the same plane.

Over the years, we have tragically lost many scientists and academics who were flying to Isparta to attend scientific conferences. About 10 years ago, a plane carrying a football team in Brazil crashed, resulting in the loss of almost all players and management staff.

These negative examples have raised awareness that state administrators, politicians, scientists, football teams, parliamentarians, and senior management of multinational companies—especially those sharing trade secrets—should avoid flying together.


The tragic plane crash in 2010, in which Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and dozens of high-ranking government officials lost their lives, is known as the worst plane crash that killed almost all of a country’s top management staff.

The plane, carrying 96 high-level officials on its way to the ceremony at the Polish martyrs’ memorial near the Russian city of Smolensk, crashed into the forest two kilometers from the runway.
Polish officials were en route to a ceremony commemorating the 22,000 Polish prisoners of war who were executed in 1940 in the Katyn Forest with a bullet to the head, similar to Auschwitz.

In this context, the accident, which resulted in the loss of President Raisi and the senior officials accompanying him, reminded us of the old tragedies, and brought the risk of carrying all the eggs in the same basket during the travels of the state senior management cadres and strategic profiles back into focus.

About the author

Hasan Sevilir Aşan

Hasan Sevilir Aşan