[QODLink]
Europe

Turks march to remember ‘massacre’ dead

Thousands commemorate 20th anniversary of arson attack in Sivas, sparked by translation of The Satanic Verses.

Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 19:55
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Thousands of mourners joined victims' relatives to remember 35 people killed in the so-called Sivas Massacre arson attack in Turkey 20 years ago.

In the ceremony on Tuesday, victims' families carried photos of loved ones - mostly Alevi artists and intellectuals - killed when a mob attacked the Madimak Hotel in anger at a writer's translation of The Satanic Verses into Turkish. 

Security was tight for the anniversary ceremony. Mourners were escorted to the site, and only families of the victims were allowed to pass through barricades and enter the hotel building - now a science and culture centre.

Some families refused to enter, protesting against the fact that the 35 victims’ names were written on a memorial alongside the names of two members of the mob killed in the fire.

The attack happened on July 2, 1993, as the intellectuals and artists gathered for a conference. The hotel was soon surrounded by a mob, angry the translation of Salman Rushdi's book by Aziz Nesin. After hours of protests the crowd set the hotel on fire. Nesin survived but 35 people were killed.

A total of 31 people were sentenced to life in prison for the attack, but the case against five others had to be dropped when the charges against the suspects exceeded the statute of limitations.

217

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.