In Turkey, police and security forces are faced with a new wave of politically motivated violence which has led to the deaths of at least eleven people in Istanbul alone in the last week.
In Turkey, police and security forces are faced with a new wave of politically motivated violence which has led to the deaths of at least eleven people in Istanbul alone in the last week. There have been mass demonstrations against the killings in the city and in the capital, Ankara. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, whose two months in office have been marked by more than 80 deaths, has promised action against the extremists and has appealed for calm.
SYNOPSIS: The latest outbreak of violence came with the death of six left-wing students at Istanbul University, last Thursday (16 March). A bomb was thrown as a group of students entered the University gates. Five students died instantly, and another soon after. Although two thousand police and troops have conducted a full-scale search no arrests have been made.
The second mass killing followed on Saturday (18 March). Five workers, believed to be members of a right-wing group, were found shot and mutilated on waste ground in the slum quarter of Umraniye outside Istanbul. Their funeral procession brought a further mass demonstration, this time by right-wing workers. The five victims, all car workers, had disappeared three days before.
The quarter where their bodies were found is occupied by workers, many with extreme left-wing views, who oppose any attempts by the police to patrol or search the area. According to a police, the five victims has been tried by a so-called "People's Court" tortured, then shot. Their only crime appeared to be that they held political views that opposed those held by their captors. Their bodies were eventually claimed by right-wing workers who staged the funeral demonstration.