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Last Updated: Friday, 11 August 2006, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Turkish assault trial disrupted
Police escort alleged gunman Alpaslan Aslan
Mr Aslan's lawyer says his client acted alone
A Turkish lawyer has tried to flee the courtroom at the opening of his trial in connection with the killing of a high court judge in the capital Ankara.

The lawyer asked for permission to leave in order to pray and when the judge refused he tried to leap out of the dock, but was restrained by guards.

The trial of Alpaslan Aslan was then briefly suspended.

He is on trial with eight alleged accomplices for an attack in May which killed a judge and wounded four others.

Headscarf issue

The prosecution has called for four life sentences for Mr Aslan. He is accused of being part of a group that targeted Turkey's secular foundations.

Turkish gendarmes outside court during trial of Alpaslan Aslan in Ankara, 11 Aug 06
Security was tight for the high-profile trial in Ankara
Speaking after the attack on the senior administrative court, Mr Aslan said he was punishing the court for its judgments restricting the wearing of the Islamic headscarf.

The attack sparked mass protests in Turkey in support of the secular state and against the government, which has pro-Islamic roots.

Mr Aslan's lawyer told the BBC his client acted alone.

Many accuse the government of creating the conditions for the attack, claiming its campaign to relax state curbs on the Islamic headscarf has emboldened extremists.

Turkey's governing Justice and Development Party has its roots in political Islam, and some suspect it still harbours a religious agenda - a claim the party denies.


SEE ALSO
Court killing hits Turkey shares
18 May 06 |  Business
Islam tests secular Istanbul
07 Oct 05 |  Europe
Q&A: Muslim headscarves
31 Aug 04 |  Europe

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