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Turkey Investigates Alleged Ties Between Police, Alleged Killers of Christians

ICC Note

“I asked him who are the police chiefs that you are speaking to, he said: ‘Don’t ask, take it easy,”‘

Saturday, December 08, 2007 Turkey (FoxNews.Com)-Turkey has launched an investigation into alleged collusion between police officers and at least one of the suspects charged with killing three Christians earlier this year at a publishing house that produces Bibles, an official said Saturday.

Two senior police inspectors will be assigned to investigate whether any officers provided assistance to the suspects, an Interior Ministry official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. He did not provide further details.

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The Interior Ministry decided to open an investigation after several newspapers published stories Saturday alleging cooperation between police and at least one of the suspects.

Radikal newspaper quoted two of the suspects, Abuzer Yildirim and Salih Guler, as saying in their testimonies that a third suspect Emre Gunaydin told them that he had met with police officials and learned about the locations of Christian churches in the city.

“I asked him who are the police chiefs that you are speaking to, he said: ‘Don’t ask, take it easy,”‘ Radikal quoted Yildirim as saying.

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Many Turks are convinced that a so-called “deep state” — a network of state agents or ex-officials, possibly with links to organized crime — periodically targets reformists and other perceived enemies in the name of nationalism.

Christian leaders have said they are worried that nationalists are stoking hostility against non-Turks and non-Muslims by exploiting uncertainty over Turkey ‘s place in the world.

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