A letter bomb killed Kurdish chieftain Hamit Fendoglu and sparked bloody rioting yesterday in the southeastern Turkish city of Malatya, where Fendolgu served as mayor.
Two persons died and more than 60 were injured as members of Fendoglu's fierce Bulgurlu clan rampaged through Malatya town center, firing shotguns and pistols and burning and stoning government buildings to protest the slaying.
Army commando units were rushed to Malatya to quell the rioting and the provincial governor Chit Bayar, imposed a curfew on the city of 160,000 persons.
In accordance with Moslem custom, Fendolgu, 59, was buried quickly in his clan's mountain stronghold of Bulgurl. Leaders of Turkey's three rightist opposition parties, which backed Fendolgu's election as mayor, attended the funeral.
Officials expressed fears, that the killing, the latest in a wave of political violence that has claimed more than 100 lives this year, could trigger serious unrest in eastern Turkey. Extremist forces of the left and right there frequently attempt too harness the traditional antigovernment sentiments of the Kurdish population to undermine the central administration.
Rightist spokesmen blamed leftist Bulent Ecevit's center-left government, for Fendolgu's death.
Government spokesmen said the bomb, which also killed Fendolgu's daughter-in-law and two infant grand-children, was made by rightist extremists at turkey's nuclear energy research center. Ecevit ordered the center closed.