Rioting between two Moslem sects killed at least 76 persons and injured more than 1,000 others in the town of Kahramanmaras in southeastern Turkey over the weekend, officials said today.
Reports by the semi-official Anatolia News Agency from the provincial capital, 93 miles from the Syrian border and 500 miles from Ankara, said distubances were continuing despite official claims that troops had rushed in to restore order.
Several people aslo were injured in Kirikkale when demonstrators believed to be right-wing extremists opposed to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's People's Republican Party made a bomb attack on municipal buildings, reliable sources said.
The nation's worst political violence in 10 years brought demands from Turkish opposition leader Suleiman Demirel and the Islamic Opposition movement for the government's resignation.
Demirel, who heads the Turkish Justice Party, told a press conference that nearly 300 people had died in Turkey's impoverished provinces since January and said Ecevit should resign if he could not govern.
Ecevit described the violence as "a great tragedy-a dark page in Turkish history." He said osme groups have been "indoctrinationg and training Turkish youths for genocide and provoking sectarian rivlries."
Political analysts view the government's inability to stop political motivated killings, bombings and occasional riots in various cities as a threat to Ecevit's rule and the future of Turkey's democratic system of government.
This year, an estimated 1,000 persons have died in political disturbances throughout the country.
Sources said the trouble in Kahramanmaras began Friday night when rightist Sunni Moslems, chanting "Moslem Turkey" and "death to the communists," tried to prevent a funeral procession for two leftist teachers killer Thursday. Three persons were killed and 39 injured in fighting that followed.
About 2,000 rightists, provoked by fiery speeches from some Moslem priests, roamed the city yesterday and burned and ransacked shops and homes owned by rival Alawite sect members.