BERLIN, MAY 31 -- Turkish youths rampaged through the German city of Solingen today, seeking vengeance for Saturday's neo-Nazi arson attack that killed five Turks, and prosecutors announced tonight that a 16-year-old skinhead will be charged with murder and arson in connection with the firebombing.
The youth, who was not identified, was arrested Sunday as one of those suspected in the attack that killed a young woman and four sisters in a Turkish family that has lived in Germany for 23 years, the federal prosecutor in Karlsruhe said.
In Solingen, near Cologne in western Germany, Turkish rage over continuing anti-foreigner violence erupted into a night of fire and destruction. It was the first major violent response by Germany's foreign residents to 3,000 anti-foreigner attacks in the last 17 months.
Chanting "Nazis out!" and "We'll burn you out!," about 300 Turks early today smashed nearly every storefront window along a half-mile stretch of the inner city, destroyed street signs, shattered bus stop shelters and burned tires and mattresses.
Nearly 700 police officers waded into the protesting crowd, swinging nightsticks. Police reported 17 arrests and several injuries.
Tonight, the violence resumed after 3,000 people, about evenly divided between Germans and Turks, gathered in Solingen for a benefit concert for victims of the attack. Despite police efforts to screen every car entering the city for weapons and rowdies, Turkish youths threw stones and chanted, "We want Nazi blood."
Television pictures from the scene showed a ravaged cityscape and German shopkeepers adding their tears to the many shed throughout the city this weekend. "Out of Anger, Now Resistance," Turkish demonstrators wrote on banners they carried today.
In nearby Cologne, Turkish protesters built a blockade across a major highway, blocking access to the regional airport and forcing cancellation of several flights.
Turkey's ambassador in Bonn, Onur Oymen, joined German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel in a televised appeal to the 1.8 million Turks living in Germany to act peacefully. "We appeal to the Turks in Germany not to overreact, but to use democratic ways to express their anger," Oymen said.
Kinkel called on "all Turkish people to refrain from violence. We call on our people for the love of God to stop these horrific attacks and on the Turkish people to be level-headed." He said Germans ask Turks for "forgiveness. We are ashamed of this terrible act."
Chancellor Helmut Kohl tonight declined invitations to appear on special German TV programs on the violence, broadcasters said. In an appeal written for Tuesday's edition of Bild, Germany's mass-circulation populist daily, Kohl said it was a "disgrace that such murder can occur in the middle of Germany."
"We may see an explosion of pent-up emotion if we are not careful," said Herbert Schnoor, interior minister of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where Solingen is located. "Germany is an immigrant country whether we want it to be or not. We must finally make it easier for foreigners to be integrated in our society."
Although Turks living in Germany pay taxes, they may not vote and may obtain German citizenship only if they are long-term residents, give up their Turkish passports and pass a variety of language and acculturation tests. Second- and third-generation German-born Turks are also foreigners under German law.
German television tonight reported extensively from Washington on U.S. reaction to the anti-foreigner violence. ARD television interviewed Americans outside the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, many of whom criticized the German education system and political leaders for permitting the rise of extremist violence.
Franz Schoenhuber, leader of Germany's far-right Republican Party, also criticized the attack, saying the arsonists should be given life sentences. He called the firebombers "not right-wing radicals, but extremists and certainly criminals."
Ignatz Bubis, leader of Germany's Jewish community, said it is "high time" the government hit the extreme right as powerfully as it went after leftist terrorists in the 1970s. "The murders and other attacks by the extreme right are clearly aimed against the state," he said.
Several volunteer groups that support asylum seekers and other foreigners in Germany issued a statement saying last week's passage of a constitutional amendment revoking the country's previous guarantee of political asylum for all legitimate refugees "has been taken by the right-wing scene as a go-ahead signal for an ethnic cleansing of Germany."
In Turkey, rage over the Solingen killings continued. Newspapers referred to the situation in Germany as "genocide" and published the address of the German federal prosecutor, asking readers to inundate him with protest letters.
Elsewhere in Germany, a group of about 20 attackers, believed to be Turks, trashed a house where right-wing skinheads often gather in the western town of Syke. Police had intervened Sunday to save 10 skinheads from being assaulted by about 60 people, many of them Turks. Police said they seized a German Reich war flag and a portrait of Adolf Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess, from the skinheads' apartment.
In Munich, arsonists attacked a shelter for asylum seekers for the second time in three days. No one was injured in the firebombing.