04/18/2007, 00.00
TURKEY

Four killed, three with their throats cut, at Bible publishing house

Mavi Zambak
Zirve, a publishing house in Malatya, is attacked. It had received threats for some time. Ultra-nationalist groups are suspected.

Ankara (AsiaNews) – Assailants killed four people late Wednesday morning at the offices of Zirve, a Christian publishing house that distributed Bibles in the city of Malatya, Hurriyet online reported. Three of the four victims had their throats cut, one of them Zirve’s owner. The fourth victim died after jumping from the third floor where he was working in order to escape.

Still under shock, Zirve's general manager Hamza Ozant was on his way to the publishing house’s offices but was able to tell a TV network that his company had been receiving threats. Started a year ago, it had already requested police protection for its employees. One reason is that many people in Turkey resent the publication and distribution of Bibles in Turkish.

Although Mr Ozant said he could not say who made the threats, suspicions fall on Turkish ultra-nationalists, especially since the murder of Turkish Armenian journalist Dink Hrant.

Coincidentally, both Mr Hrant and Mehmet Ali Agca, the man who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981, were born in Malatya.

A police investigation is underway to find the culprits of such barbarous act.

Zirve is probably a Protestant publishing house since Protestants are the only ones who distribute Christian texts in the country. Catholics also rely on them to have their own material printed.

 

 

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