Turkish court merges Ergenekon, Council of State attack cases

ANKARA, Turkey

A court decided on Monday (April 20th) to merge the case involving a deadly 2006 attack on judges from the country’s top administrative court with the ongoing Ergenekon investigation. On May 17th 2006, a gunman stormed into the Council of State in Ankara, killing a senior judge and wounding four others.

The assailant, lawyer Alparslan Aslan, said he was avenging court rulings that upheld a ban on women wearing Islamic headscarves in universities and government offices. He also confessed to organising three grenade attacks in Istanbul against the secularist newspaper Cumhuriyet, several days before the court shooting.

Last year, however, prosecutors investigating the Ergenekon group said they have established a connection between the two cases and claimed the gunman had “posed as a radical Islamist” but was in fact acting on behalf of the Ergenekon plotters.

The shadowy group is accused of planning bombings and high-profile assassinations to incite chaos and overthrow the ruling Justice and Development Party’s government.

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