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Turkish Police Search for Soldier

August 29, 2001

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ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) _ Police were looking for a soldier they suspect may have been involved in the stabbing death of one of Turkey’s leading businessmen, a news report said Tuesday.

Uzeyir Garih, 72, chairman of the ALARKO business group and a prominent member of Turkey’s Jewish community, was found dead in an Istanbul cemetery Saturday. He had been stabbed several times.

Police tracked Garih’s missing cellular phone to an army barrack and questioned a soldier who had used the phone, private NTV television said. The man told police he had bought the telephone from another soldier who has been missing since Saturday.

NTV, quoting unnamed senior police officials, said authorities were still searching for the missing soldier, identified as 26-year-old Yener Yermez. Other news reports said the suspect may have been detained already.

The Anatolia news agency said Yermez had a previous conviction for manslaughter and armed robbery and had served time in prison until his release last year under a much-criticized government amnesty.

Police would not comment on the reports.

Update hourly