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Research assistant kills four staff in gun attack at Turkish university

Osmangazi University said a deputy dean, a secretary and two teaching staff at the university’s faculty of education were killed.

A research assistant has shot and killed four staff members at a university in central Turkey, the university’s president said.

Professor Hasan Gonen of Osmangazi University said the gunman shot and killed a deputy dean, a secretary and two teaching staff at the university’s faculty of education.

The university is in the city of Eskisehir, some 250km west of Ankara.

The attacker, identified as Volkan Bayar, was apprehended by police as he left the scene, Mr Gonen said.

People at the entrance of the university after the attack (DHA-Depo Photos via AP)

He said the motive of the attack appeared to be a personal dispute. The attacker’s main target appeared to be the university dean, who was not in his office when the gunman arrived, he added.

He said the gunman, who was studying for a doctoral degree, had been under investigation at the university after he accused a number of staff members of being followers of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for a failed coup in 2016.

Turkey has arrested tens of thousands of people for alleged links to the coup and dismissed more than 110,000 others from government jobs, including universities.

Cemil Yucel, the dean who escaped the attack, was quoted by Hurriyet saying that Bayar was “mentally unstable” and constantly lodged complaints against staff members.

“He was a frightening person,” he said.

Ayse Aypay, an education professor at the university, described the attacker as an alleged Gulen supporter who made false accusations against colleagues.

She said her husband was dismissed from his teaching position at Osmangazi and jailed for more than five months over Bayar’s false accusations that he was a Gulen follower.

Ms Aypay went on to accuse the university of “protecting” Bayar and not taking any action against him for more than a year.

Governor Ozdemir Cakacak said three prosecutors had been assigned to investigate the case.

Earlier, unconfirmed reports said three people were also injured. Relatives rushed to the university as soon as news of the attack broke.


From Belfast Telegraph