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shali
18-05-2006, 01:50 AM
Judge dies in Turkey court attack
Yesterday

A gunman has shot dead a prominent judge and wounded four others in an
attack in Turkey's highest court, in the capital, Ankara. Judge Mustafa Yucel Ozbilgin died despite six hours of surgery to remove a bullet from his brain.

One of the wounded judges had been criticised for ruling against teachers wearing Muslim headscarves, and had reportedly received death threats.
The judges were in session when an armed man burst into a committee meeting of the Council of State, the top administrative court, at 1000 local time (0700 GMT) shouting "Allahu akbar" (God is great) as he fired his weapon.

The attacker, believed to be a lawyer, was detained by police. Identified as Aslan Alpaslan, 29, he is being questioned to determine his motive.

But the BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Istanbul says many here already see this as an attack on secularism itself - the founding principle of the Turkish republic.

'Soldier of God'

The attacker was apparently carrying papers that identified him as a lawyer - although it is not known if these were genuine - and made it past security guards undetected.

He reportedly burst into a committee meeting of the Council of State, the top administrative court, at 1000 local time (0700 GMT) shouting "Allahu akbar" (God is great) as he fired his weapon.

Tansel Colasan, deputy head of the Council of State, said the attacker yelled "I am the soldier of God", and said he was carrying out the attack to protest against the court's decision on headscarves.

He was arrested immediately.

Judge Mustafa Birden made headlines earlier this year when he ruled that schoolteachers, who are banned from wearing the Islamic headscarf at work, could not cover their heads even on their way to school.