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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 August, 2003, 13:18 GMT 14:18 UK
Father seeks tighter gun laws
Petition
The petition will be taken to Turkey next month
The father of a toddler who was shot dead in Turkey has launched a petition to tighten the country's gun laws.

David Grimason is aiming to collect 10,000 signatures in his home town of East Kilbride over the next three days.

His two-year-old son Alistair died after a gunfight broke out at a cafe in the Turkish resort of Foca last month.

The toddler was asleep in his pram when a stray bullet pierced his heart, killing him instantly.

His mother and grandmother were eating a meal in the restaurant.

The death left Mr Grimason, 31, and his wife Ozlem, 27, distraught - but also put Turkey's gun laws in the spotlight.

Mr and Mrs Grimason
In Turkey there is more than one gun incident every day
David Grimason
Mr Grimason said the country's gun culture was a major factor in his son's death and that the government must share the blame.

He wants to see stricter gun controls and tougher sentences for people who break the law.

For the next three days Mr Grimason will be spearheading a petition to bring pressure on the Turkish authorities.

He aims to secure 10,000 signatures by Saturday and then take his petition to Turkey on 25 September and hand it to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Mr Grimason said: "We owe Alistair something. We took him there.

Gun-related crime

"Although it was Ozlem's home and we thought it was safe, we actually took him on that holiday where he lost his life, so we feel as if we have got to do something."

Mr Grimason said he wanted to change public perceptions in Turkey to reduce gun-related crime.

He said: "There seems to be a lot of guns in Turkey at the moment with about five million illegal guns.

Main suspect

"If you read the Turkish newspapers every day - we get them delivered here - there is more than one gun incident every day.

"There are just lots of guns, though I'm not sure how people come about them."

Police in Turkey are still hunting the local car dealer they have identified as the main suspect in the shooting.

One man was killed in the shoot-out while two others required hospital treatment.


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Scotland's Aileen Clarke
"There was no shortage of people willing to pledge their support"


David Grimason
"There are about five million illegal guns in Turkey"



SEE ALSO:
Police hunt toddler death suspect
10 Jul 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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