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Rogue Group of Retired Turkish Officers Planning Assassination of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

A network of Turkish retired officers was planning even the murder of Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomew according to investigations conducted by Turkish judicial authorities. The network was dismantled last month when weapons and explosives were found near in a hovel near Konstantinopolis. "Aksam" newspaper says that evidence on the planning of Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomew assassination was found in the hard disc of the "National Forces Union" president, Bekir Ozturk. The same organization seems to have been planning assassinations of the Armenian Patriarch and Jewish businessman, Isaac Alaton, whose partner Gary was murdered under unknown conditions.

Bekir Ozturk was arrested within the framework of interrogations about the organization of retired officers who possessed an arsenal of grenades, bombs and other weapons taken from the army. The network of retired officers was cooperating with the nationalist organization " Movement of Patriotic forces and other 4 organizations. The organization was founded on December, 27, 2006 and has 105 offices in 40 districts and 600.000 members.

The ecumenical Patriarchate has in the past experienced grenade attacks, claimed by an organization called IBDA, believed to be of Islamic roots. However, grenades and explosives used in the attacks came from military warehouses and in some cases their serial numbers were recognized by NATO procedures.

According to "Aksam" newspaper judicial authorities have called security authorities and intelligence services to strengthen security of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Armenian Patriarch and Isaac Alaton.