Gunman opens fire at Turkish high court, shoots judges to protest headscarf ruling

[JURIST] An unidentified attacker on Wednesday shot five judges in the Council of State [official website], Turkey's highest administrative court located in Ankara. The wounded judges are all from the same court chamber, which deals with education issues and in February handed down a controversial ruling denying a promotion to a school teacher because she wore a religious headscarf [JURIST news archive]. The chamber is known for its secularist policies and adamant support of the ban on religious headscarves in schools and other public places. The gunman, reported to be a lawyer, is now in custody and reportedly attacked the judges in protest of the ruling.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [official website], whose wife wears a headscarf and is banned from doing so at state-sponsored events, decried the ruling [JURIST report]; however, the increasingly secular military openly supports the ban. Reuters has more. The Times has additional coverage.

1:45 PM ET - One of the judges, Mustafa Yucel Ozbilgin, died on Wednesday after undergoing surgery to remove a bullet from his brain. Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer [official website] said that Turkey's constitution [text] would not be undermined by the attack and that the country's justice system would not be intimidated. BBC News has more.



 

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