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American Working For Radio Free Europe Killed

September 21, 1988

ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) _ An American translator for Radio Free Europe died shortly after being found stabbed in a park, police said.

Police said they found John Soper, 40, while patrolling a downtown park at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. He had three stab wounds in the stomach and was taken to the hospital, where he died, police said.

Soper, who was in Istanbul for a language conference, worked for Radio Liberty, a section of Radio Free Europe, which is based in Munich, West Germany, according to police and the staff of the hotel where he was staying.

They said the Indiana-born linguist, who arrived here Sunday, left his hotel to go for a stroll around 11 p.m. Monday. When he didn’t return after midnight, friends notified the police.

Police said they did not know who might have killed Soper or why.

Barbara Sinclair of Indianapolis, a cousin of Soper, said the U.S. State Department has notified Soper’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Quentin F. Soper of Indianapolis, of his death.

Soper was able to speak and read Russian, French and Uzbek, the predominant language of Turkic people who live mainly in the Uzbek republic of the Soviet Union.

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