Research assistant kills four staff in gun attack at Turkish university

Update 5pm: A research assistant has shot and killed four staff members at a university in central Turkey, the university's president said.

Professor Hasan Gonen of Osmangazi University said the gunman shot and killed a deputy dean, a secretary and two teaching staff at the university's faculty of education.

The university is in the city of Eskisehir, some 250km west of Ankara.

The attacker, identified as Volkan Bayar, was apprehended by police as he left the scene, Mr Gonen said.

People gather at the entrance of Eskisehir Osmangazi University after a research assistant shot and killed four staff members in Eskisehir, central Turkey, Thursday, April 5, 2018.
People gather at the entrance of Eskisehir Osmangazi University after a research assistant shot and killed four staff members in Eskisehir, central Turkey, Thursday, April 5, 2018.

He said the motive of the attack appeared to be a personal dispute. The attacker's main target appeared to be the university dean, who was not in his office when the gunman arrived, he added.

He said the gunman, who was studying for a doctoral degree, had been under investigation at the university after he accused a number of staff members of being followers of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for a failed coup in 2016.

Turkey has arrested tens of thousands of people for alleged links to the coup and dismissed more than 110,000 others from government jobs, including universities.

Cemil Yucel, the dean who escaped the attack, was quoted by Hurriyet saying that Bayar was "mentally unstable" and constantly lodged complaints against staff members.

"He was a frightening person," he said.

Ayse Aypay, an education professor at the university, described the attacker as an alleged Gulen supporter who made false accusations against colleagues.

She said her husband was dismissed from his teaching position at Osmangazi and jailed for more than five months over Bayar's false accusations that he was a Gulen follower.

Ms Aypay went on to accuse the university of "protecting" Bayar and not taking any action against him for more than a year.

Governor Ozdemir Cakacak said three prosecutors had been assigned to investigate the case.

Earlier, unconfirmed reports said three people were also injured. Relatives rushed to the university as soon as news of the attack broke.

Update 2.45pm: Research assistant kills four staff in gun attack at Turkish university

A research assistant shot and killed four staff members at a university in Turkey, the university's president says.

Professor Hasan Gonen said the gunman shot and killed a deputy dean, a secretary and two teaching staff.

It happened at Osmangazi University, in the city of Eskisehir, some 250km west of Ankara.

Reports said the gunman, identified as Volkan D, turned himself in to police after the attack.

Hurriyet newspaper said three other people were wounded.

Relatives of the victims rushed to the university as soon as news of the attack broke.

Earlier: Gunman kills four staff members at Turkish university

A gunman has killed four people at a university in central Turkey, local media reported.

The attack occurred at Osmangazi University in the city of Eskisehir, the Dogan news agency said.

Police have apprehended the suspect, a member of university staff.

The Anadolu agency reported that the dead are a deputy dean, a secretary and two teaching staff.

The motive for the attack was not immediately known.

This is a breaking news story, more as we get it...

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