Mass Rally Against Religious Killing.
MORE than 25,000 people marched in defence of secularism in Turkey yesterday, shocked at the killing of a leading judge by an Islamic extremist gunman.
Angry crowds outside the Ankara mosque, where the funeral of the murdered judge Mustafa Ozbilgin was being held, pushed government ministers, who some see as being too religiously minded, on their way inside.
And outside the country's top administrative court, protesters booed Abdullah Gul, the foreign minister, and called for the government's resignation.
Four more people were detained yesterday in connection with the Wednesday killing, when a suspected Islamic lawyer stormed into a chamber of the top court, shooting dead Mr Ozbilgin and injuring four others while shouting he was "a soldier of Allah".
The attack raised tensions between the secular establishment and the religious-minded government and sparked an outpouring of nationalist sentiment in the capital. Judges led thousands of people to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's mausoleum to pay homage to the republic's founder and show their support for secularism.
The gunman, who was detained shortly after the attack, had apparently targeted the judges because they ruled in February against a woman becoming a headteacher on the grounds that she wore a headscarf on her way to work. Turkey does not allow headscarves to be worn in government buildings and universities.
"We have to rally against the people who brought our country to this point. We're so sorry about this attack and therefore we all want to be on the streets and make our voices heard," said Gumus Ocak, a housewife in Ankara.
Turkey's political leaders, including Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister, have condemned the attack.