4 people killed in shooting at Turkish university
University official says shooter was a researcher at the university involved in a dispute over 2016 coup
Four people were killed today in a shooting at the Osmangazi University in Turkey's northwestern province of Eskisehir, the school's rector and local media said.
The shooter killed the assistant dean, faculty secretary, lecturer and a staff member from the education faculty of the university, rector Hasan Gonen told Turkish media.
Gonen said the suspect, identified as a researcher at the university named Volkan Bayer, entered the university's education faculty with a gun before the four staff members were shot.
Gonen said the motive 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.
Suspect was under investigation at university
He said the suspect, who was studying for a doctor's degree, had been under investigation at the university after he accused a number of staff members of being followers of Fethullah Gulen. Turkey blames the U.S.-based cleric for a failed coup in 2016.
"This person had claimed that some members of the university were members of FETO, and he had made similar claims [previously] in court," Gonen said, using an acronym denoting Gulen's network
Turkey's government accuses Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, of having orchestrated the July 2016 attempt by parts of the armed forces to topple President Tayyip Erdogan. More than 250 people were killed in the coup bid. Gulen denies involvement.
Gonen said the gunman's claims were being investigated by authorities prior to Thursday's shooting.
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.
Footage from the scene showed several police officers and medical staff in the area, while students and university staff were treated by ambulance staff.
Police had detained the gunman, the state-run Anadolu news agency and other media reported.
A reporter for Anadolu, speaking on CNN Turk, said the gunman had surrendered rather than trying to escape.
Staff complained about alleged shooter
Ayse Aypay, a professor at the university, told Turkish media that some members of staff had "repeatedly filed complaints" about the suspect. "Who will pay the price for protecting him now?" Aypay said.
She said she would file a criminal complaint to higher educational authorities over their alleged failure to deal with complaints about Gonen. Eskisehir Gov. Ozdemir Cakacak said regional prosecutors had launched an investigation into the shootings.
Turkey's Hurriyet daily newspaper quoted Cemil Yucel, the dean who escaped the attack, as saying that Bayar is "mentally unstable" and he constantly lodged complaints against staff members.
"He was a frightening person," Yucel told the newspaper.
Gov. Ozdemir Cakacak said three prosecutors have been assigned to investigate the case.
With files from Associated Press