Convention Reconvenes After Attempted Assassination Of Premier
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) _ The governing Motherland Party’s general congress met under tight security Sunday after an escaped convict shot and slightly wounded Premier Turgut Ozal in the convention hall.
Turkish newspapers reported Sunday that seven different underground groups claimed responsibility for the assassination attempt, which left Ozal wounded in the right hand. The claims, which included Marxist-Leninist , rightist and Moslem factions, could not be confirmed independently.
Delegates gave Ozal a standing ovation when he arrived at the convention hall Sunday. He greeted his supporters with his right hand in a bandage and his arm hanging in a sling.
Ozal, 61, was delivering an opening speech at the convention Saturday when a gunman fired twice at him.
Police fired at the suspected assailant, hitting him in the arm, as scores of screaming people ran for cover in panic. Sixteen other people suffered bullet wounds from the returning fire of bodyguards and four were bruised in the stampede.
According to an announcement from Numune Hospital, 10 people remained hospitalized on Sunday.
The suspected gunman, identified as Kartal Demirag, 32, was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison last year, Ankara Gov. Saffet Arikan Beduk said. He escaped from a low-security Mugla prison in January, the governor said.
Beduk said the handgun that was seized had jammed after two shots were fired.
Newspapers reported that Demirag was a member of the now defunct neo- fascist National Movement Party’s youth organization before 1980. Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman wounded Pope John Paul II in 1981, was also accused of belonging to the group.
Newspapers reported that the assailant had either one or two accomplices who escaped later. Beduk denied the reports.
Beduk also said no one remained under custody except the gunman on Sunday. About 50 people were taken into custody Saturday in an attempt to determine whether people involved in the decoration of the convention hall were responsible in smuggling the gun.
Ozal was first elected when a military government ceded power in 1983.