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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 September, 2003, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
Father leads calls for gun control
Mr and Mrs Grimason
The couple attended a ceremony for gun victims
The father of a Scottish toddler shot dead in Turkey has issued a call for the country to ban handguns.

Two-year-old Alistair Grimason was killed after being shot in the heart when a gunfight broke out at a cafe in the resort of Foca on 7 July.

David Grimason, from East Kilbride, was speaking at a major conference in Istanbul.

Mr Grimason and his wife Ozlem have collected a petition of about 100,000 signatures endorsing their campaign for stricter firearms restrictions in Turkey.

The family also hope to lobby the Turkish prime minister directly for a change in the law.

There are about 3,000 deaths a year, 10 funerals a day, it's a disgusting amount
David Grimason
Mr Grimason said he wanted to get the government to re-examine the country's widespread gun culture.

"Over the years a lot of children have been killed and Alistair's death has added to that," he said.

"Because he wasn't from Turkey, he was on holiday at the time, it's kind of embarrassed Turkey, it's been all round the world and shocked a lot of different countries.

"We've got over 100,000 signatures on Alistair's petition and I don't think that can be ignored.

"There are about 3,000 deaths a year, 10 funerals a day, it's a disgusting amount."

'Difficult journey'

Speaking on BBC Radio's Sunday Live programme, Ozlem Grimason said it had been a difficult journey but one she had to make.

"It was very difficult especially on the plane, all I could think was that only two months ago it was me and Alistair and we were full of fun.

Alistair Grimason
Alistair Grimason was hit by a stray bullet
"Alistair was very excited being on a plane and going to see his gran and this time it was so different, but I felt I had to get some public awareness of guns in Turkey."

She added that she was hopeful that people were starting to realise the scale of the problem.

Mick North, whose five-year-old daughter Sophie was killed in the 1996 Dunblane massacre, travelled with the Grimasons to lend his support.


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Scotland's Aileen Clarke
"Alistair was killed as he slept in his pushchair"


Ozlem and David Grimason on Sunday Live
"Basically guns kill and will continue to kill"



SEE ALSO:
Tragic journey for grieving parents
26 Sep 03  |  Scotland
Toddler shooting suspect held
02 Sep 03  |  Scotland
Father seeks tighter gun laws
21 Aug 03  |  Scotland
Grief of shot toddler's father
09 Jul 03  |  Scotland
Parents grieve for shot son
09 Jul 03  |  Scotland
Toddler shot dead in Turkey
08 Jul 03  |  Scotland



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