Grisly murders at Turkish Bible publishers

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Grisly murders at Turkish Bible publishers

Post  Waqar Daniel on Tue 10 Jul 2007, 7:55 pm

Attackers slit the throats of three people at a publishing house in eastern Turkey that had been threatened for distributing Bibles and printing books on Christianity.
The murders in Malatya, 650 kilometres east of Ankara, appeared to be the latest attack on minorities in Turkey following the killings of a Roman Catholic priest last year and an ethnic Armenian journalist in January.
Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu said five suspects, including a man who jumped out of a window to escape capture, were taken into custody over the killings.
"Four suspects were detained by police at the crime scene with the murder weapons, the fifth suspect has been hospitalised," he said,
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged to shed light on the killings which he condemned as "brutality".
"There are suspects in custody, but the prosecutor's office is investigating the incident to reveal at once the real perpetrators," he said.
The Anatolia news agency said the suspects were young men aged 19 and 20 years of age who were all found to be carrying a letter that read: "We all five are brothers, we are going to our deaths and may not return".
Malatya Governor Halil Ibrahim Dasoz told the NTV news channel that the victims were found with their hands and feet tied to chairs and their throats slit.
The German embassy in Ankara confirmed that one of the dead was a German citizen.
The Anatolia news agency identified the victims as 46-year-old Tilman Ekkehart Geske and Turkish citizens Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel.
Two of the dead were reportedly employees of the publishing house.
Zirve general manager Hamza Ozant told CNN Turk television that the publishing house had received "certain threats," without giving details.
An aide to the Malatya Governor said that Zirve "was engaged in missionary activities."
The publishing house had been the target of protests by nationalists accusing it of proselytising, media reports said.
Proselytising is generally viewed with suspicion in Turkey, whose population is 99 percent Muslim.
Small Greek Orthodox, Catholic, Armenian and Jewish communities are concentrated mainly in Istanbul.
Mr Dasoz said the company had not sought any special police protection.

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Waqar Daniel

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