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Archive for Thursday, May 18, 2006

One judge killed, four hurt in rampage

May 18, 2006

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— A gunman opened fire Wednesday in Turkey's highest administrative court, killing a prominent judge and wounding four others in an attack the suspect called retaliation for a ruling against a teacher who wore an Islamic head scarf.

Four of the justices, including Judge Mustafa Yucel Ozbilgin, who died of gunshot wounds to the head, had voted in February against the promotion of an elementary school teacher who wore an Islamic-style head scarf outside of work.

The judges' photos were published by the pro-Islamic Vakit newspaper.

The attacker, who was detained and was being interrogated by anti-terrorism police, shouted "I am the soldier of God!" before opening fire. He said the attack was to punish the judges for their decision, said Tansel Colasan, deputy head of the administrative court.

Some 99 percent of Turks are Muslims. The country's secular establishment, which includes the courts and the military, has sought for decades to restrict Islamic influence, which some political leaders view as an obstacle to modernization.

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