In Turkey, members of the Turkish Workers and Peasants Party mourned on Sunday (12 August) the death of Zeki on the Party leader of Gaziantep province who was allegedly gunned down by rightwing guerrillas on July the 9th.
LV INTERIOR Mourners seated in front of photographs and placard of dead man Zeki on (3 SHOTS)
CU Father of dead man
SV PAN from musician playing to poets eulogising
CU Distraught woman listening to poets (5 SHOTS)
SV AND CU Deputy Secretary of the Turkish Workers and Peasants party central committee Gun Zileli speaking with weeping child listening (4 SHOTS)
SCU PAN Mourners singing
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Background: In Turkey, members of the Turkish Workers and Peasants Party mourned on Sunday (12 August) the death of Zeki on the Party leader of Gaziantep province who was allegedly gunned down by rightwing guerrillas on July the 9th. Despite martial law in nineteen of Turkey's provinces, political violence has continued unabated. Clashes between rightwing political groups, left-wing extremists and Islamic sects have resulted in the deaths of nearly two thousand people over the last two years.
SYNOPSIS: The Turkish Workers and peasants Party became an official political force in January 1978. It claims about fifty thousand followers, although the party has not yet contested a general election. In the last two years two top party officials, including Zeki On, have been gunned down. However, the party claims forty of its members have been murdered in political killings since 1975. The party believes Zeki on, a Kurd, was killed for his backing, of the party stand against Kurdish Secession, although it supports Kurdish autonomy.
The party hopes to contest the 1981 general elections as it claims the other socialist parties are unrepresentative and mere agents of Moscow. Political campaigns often bring violence in Turkey even though Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit tried to restore order by introducing martial law in the worst-hit provinces last December.
Deputy Party Secretary, Gun Zileli addressed the mourners blaming Kurdish secessionists and Soviet hegemonists of Zeki On's death. He claimed the Soviet Union was using Turkish extremists to destabilise the country so Russian influence could be extended. Many Turks fear the country's last vestiges of democracy may be short lived. The army has ousted politicians twice in the past twenty years, and the present government, the third in just over a year, has only a small majority. Already the army is taking essentially political decisions on its own initiative as when it banned the May Day marches in Istanbul and arrested left wing union leaders. Meanwhile violence and the mourning continue.