Five accused Right-wing terrorists went on trial on Monday (20 August) in Ankara, Turkey for the grisly murder last October of seven members of the Turkish Labour Party.
GV EXTERIOR Court building in Ankara.
SV Five accused seated in court.
SV Defendants' lawyer speaking and judge listening. (2 SHOTS)
CU Defendants individually and together seated in court. (6 SHOTS)
SV Security guard in court.
SCU Judge speaking.
SV Judge PAN TO defendants.
SV Audience in courtroom and security guards in court. (4 SHOTS)
SV Defendants standing to hear judge's address and judge speaking. (3 SHOTS)
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Background: Five accused Right-wing terrorists went on trial on Monday (20 August) in Ankara, Turkey for the grisly murder last October of seven members of the Turkish Labour Party. The defendants are being tried by Martial Law Authorities, on the eve of Parliamentary debates on whether to extended Martial Law for two more months in nineteen of the sixty-seven provinces. The Social Democrat government of Turkey, under Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, has been grappling for many months with serious economic problems and mounting guerrilla violence.
SYNOPSIS: Although eight suspects have been charged with the murders, only five appeared in the Ankara Court on Monday. The defendants are accused of raiding the home of a Turkish Labour Party member, gunning down five party member, and kidnapping two others by overcoming them with chloroform. These two were later found murdered by the side of a road. One member of the accused group has already been sentenced to death for murdering a public prosecutor. The prosecutor in this trial is seeking the death penalty for all eight defendants.
There was heavy security both inside and outside the courthouse. Martial Law in Turkey was imposed last December after the Kahramanmaras massacre in the southeastern part of the country, but the Turkish Labour Party murders two months earlier also helped provoke the Martial Law declaration.
The prosecutor argued that there is a link between the murders and Turkey's right-wing National Action Party. The victims were members of the most influential of left-wing Marxist parties in the country.
Following a recess, the defendants returned to the courtroom to be addressed by the judge. The trial was expected to take several days.