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Gunman opens fire at Turkish high court, shoots judges to protest headscarf ruling

[JURIST] An unidentified attacker on Wednesday shot five judges in the Council of State [official website], Turkey's highest administrative court located in Ankara. The wounded judges are all from the same court chamber, which deals with education issues and in February handed down a controversial ruling denying a promotion to a school teacher because she wore a religious headscarf [JURIST news archive]. The chamber is known for its secularist policies and adamant support of the ban on religious headscarves in schools and other public places. The gunman, reported to be a lawyer, is now in custody and reportedly attacked the judges in protest of the ruling.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [official website], whose wife wears a headscarf and is banned from doing so at state-sponsored events, decried the ruling [JURIST report]; however, the increasingly secular military openly supports the ban. Reuters has more. The Times has additional coverage.

1:45 PM ET - One of the judges, Mustafa Yucel Ozbilgin, died on Wednesday after undergoing surgery to remove a bullet from his brain. Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer [official website] said that Turkey's constitution [text] would not be undermined by the attack and that the country's justice system would not be intimidated. BBC News has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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