A left-wing extremist was hanged in Turkey on Sunday (26 October) in the third execution of urban guerrillas since the armed forces seized power in a coup on September 12.
LV INTERIOR Palestinian guerrillas enter court in Ankara, Turkey, under military escort giving victory salute
CU PAN The four accused giving salute in dock
LV Spectators in court gallery
LV Judges seated at bench and court clerk typing as accused take their seats (2 shots)
CU PAN Two judges on bench
CU One of accused shaking his head in reply to question
CU Judge speaking and another accused replying (2 shots)
CU Judge speaking and a third accused replying (2 shots)
SV PAN Officials and military in court room
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A left-wing extremist was hanged in Turkey on Sunday (26 October) in the third execution of urban guerrillas since the armed forces seized power in a coup on September 12. Serdar Soyergin, 22, had been convicted of murdering a rival leftist in a gun battle in the southern port of Adana. The two earlier executions were the first in Turkey since 1972. On Friday (24 October) four Palestinian guerrillas, sentenced to death for killing two policemen during a 2-day siege of the Egyptian Embassy in Ankara in July last year (1979), appeared inn court - but their fate w??? be known for at least a month.
SYNOPSIS: The four Palestinians, members of the Red Eagles of the Liberation of Palestine, appeared in the civilian court for only one hour. The trial was then delayed until 21 November to enable the Public Prosecutor to examine his files. One year ago (October 1979) a military tribunal sentenced the men to death twice for each killing and condemned them to 20 years jail on charges, including attempting to disrupt Turkey's relations with Egypt. The court was told that after storming the Embassy and taking ten hostages, the four men demanded the release of colleagues from an Egyptian jail. The two policemen were killed in the initial assault on the embassy, and a staff member died after jumping from a window in an escape attempt.
The recent executions in Turkey have been seen as a move by the authorities to set an example. The level of political violence has dropped dramatically since the new military rulers extended martial law power, and deaths are now rarely recorded. Previously an average of sixteen people a day were being killed. But observers say the authorities would be opposed to hanging the Palestinians as it could undermine ties with the Arab States.