Initial reports show no evidence of arson in German fire

Initial reports from an investigation into a fire that killed nine Turks in Germany have produced no evidence of the arson suspected by many Turks.

Initial reports show no evidence of arson in German fire

Initial reports from an investigation into a fire that killed nine Turks in the German city of Ludwigshafen on Feb. 3 have produced no evidence of the arson suspected by many Turks.

The deadly blaze has raised concerns among the country's more than 3 million Turkish immigrants, as well as Turks living in Turkey, that it was an arson attack directed at Germany's Turkish community.

Following the attack, some child witnesses -- sisters Bedriye and Aylin Kaplan -- claimed that they saw the perpetrator of the attack and described the individual's profile. The German police reportedly did not find these allegations credible. According to four Turkish police officers who went to Germany to participate in the investigation, the German police think that there is distortion in the deposition of the children.

The four Turkish police officers were sent to Germany by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who visited the site of the fire after the incident, where he demanded a thorough investigation into the deadly blaze. "Do not return to Turkey before the investigation is completed," Erdoğan reportedly told the police officers.

Officials from the Interior Ministry said the German police were in the final phase of the investigation and that the four Turkish policemen would return to Turkey early next week. When the Turkish police team returns to Turkey it will prepare a classified report, which will be submitted to Erdoğan by Interior Minister Beşir Atalay.

The fact that the German police have so far failed to turn up any concrete leads on the fire and have disregarded the depositions from the child witnesses drew a negative reaction from Ankara.

Today's Zaman

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Şubat 2008, 10:23
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