Accessibility links

Breaking News

Turkish Leaders Condemn Attack On Judges

Prime Minister Erdogan's government has come under attack for failing to protect Turkey's secular institutions (epa) May 18, 2006 -- Turkish political leaders have condemned as an attack on Turkey's secular tradition a shooting by an apparent Islamic militant that killed one judge and wounded four other judges.

President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said the May 17 shooting would be remembered as a "black mark" in Turkish history and an assault on the country's democratic and secular character.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the attack as as assault on Turkey's institutions, while opposition parties criticized Erdogan's Islamist-rooted government for failing to protect secularism.

The gunman, who has been detained by police, was reported to have called himself a "soldier of Allah" as he carried out the attack inside Turkey's highest administrative court building in Ankara.

The court had faced criticism in Islamist circles for allegedly hard-line implementation of secular laws such as a headscarf ban in universities and state offices.

(compiled from agency reports)