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Gunman attacks Turkey court, wounds 5 judges

/ Source: The Associated Press

A gunman stormed into a meeting at Turkey’s highest administrative court on Wednesday and opened fire, wounding five judges, the Ankara governor’s office said.

The attacker, a lawyer who was detained, reportedly chanted “God is Great!” as he fired his weapon, private NTV television reported, citing witnesses.

The governor’s office said two of the five judges who were wounded were in critical condition, but did not identify them.

News reports said one of the wounded judges, Mustafa Birden, had been criticized for a February decision barring the promotion of a teacher who wore an Islamic-style head scarf outside of work. Birden was critically wounded in the stomach and was being operated on, TGRT television said.

Another judge, who was hit in the neck, was also undergoing surgery.

Some 99 percent of Turks are Muslims. The country’s secular establishment, however, which includes the courts and the military, has sought for decades to restrict Islamic influence, which some political leaders view as an obstacle to Western-style modernization.

Under Turkish law, women are not allowed to enter schools or other public buildings wearing head scarves. Wives of ministers are excluded from government functions and formal state dinners if they wear head scarves.