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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 May 2006, 10:45 GMT 11:45 UK
Judge shootings appal Turk press
Turkish press graphic

Turkish papers are shocked and angry at the deadly gun attack on five judges in the Council of State in Ankara, with one commentator saying it was an assault on Turkey's secular republic.

The press sees a clear link between the attack, which left one official dead, and a ruling by one of the injured judges that a ban on schoolteachers wearing the Islamic headscarf at work also applies to their journey into school./P>

Dailies use stark language to warn that Turkey faces a "dark future" if it cannot maintain unity, but one religious paper, Vakit, rejects the accusation that an article it published in February laid the judges open to attack.

BEKIR COSKUN IN HURRIYET

Whether they have a gun or a bomb in their hand, their target is the same: To wipe out the secular republic, to prevent modernity and civilization and push Turkish society into a way of life from the Middle Ages, to make Sharia law dominant.

CUMHURIYET

Yesterday was a big dark day in the history of the secular republic. All signs show that if the enlightened forces in Turkey cannot take any measures by being united, it is inevitable that this black day will turn into a dark future.

ERTUGRUL OZKOK IN HURRIYET

The Turkish judiciary has been the subject of a very heavy and dangerous attack. We have to name this very clearly: This is the 11 September of the Republic of Turkey.

AHMET HAKAN IN HURRIYET

To criticise a decision of the judiciary is normal in a state governed by the rule of law, but this does not mean that every kind of criticism is appropriate. No matter who says what, publishing the photographs of the judges [as the Vakit newspaper did in February] and saying that "Here are the judges who banned the headscarf even on the streets" is setting them up as targets.

MEHMET ALI BIRAND IN POSTA

Those who play the headscarf issue can be happy now! The action of a presumptuous person has caused the bells of danger to ring... The extreme religious groups and the extreme secularists are doing their best to discomfort the country and speed up the process of division over the headscarf issue.

TAHA AKYOL IN MILLIYET

We may be confronted with a major plan. This may have been a stealthy, well-organised attack, possibly directed by outside powers. It may also have been just an attack by someone with an "aggressive character". The law and reason require us to wait for evidence before commenting on the event.

CAN DUNDAR IN MILLIYET

The prime minister, who curled his lip saying "we always listen to them" after the warning speech from the chief of the Council of State, is the one at the forefront of those responsible for this event. So are the government and the religious press, which chose the Council of State as a target. We must counter those who expect the law to be cowed. We have to back the judiciary.

MURAT YETKIN IN RADIKAL

The government is in the sights of both the judiciary and the opposition. The political tension in Ankara is obvious.

FEHMI KORU IN YENI SAFAK

I wonder where Turkey will be dragged to by this attack that will be written in history as a black stain? I hope the government and the AKP [Justice and Development Party] now understand that they are facing a series of faits-accomplis threatening their existence.

EKREM DUMANLI IN ZAMAN

This attack is the latest stage in the process of dividing Turkey. God forbid that it continues. That is why every reasonable person must behave calmly.

A. IHSAN KARAHASANOGLU IN VAKIT

It is clearly a lie that the direct reason for this event is a newspaper article. It is a lie that seeks to threaten the freedom of press!

ABDULRAHMAN DILIPAK IN VAKIT

The judges and the decisions of the judiciary are not beyond criticism. It is not admissible to see these criticisms as "provocations" or "the selection of targets".

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




SEE ALSO
Islam tests secular Istanbul
07 Oct 05 |  Europe
Country profile: Turkey
15 Jan 01 |  Country profiles

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