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Thousands at Funeral of Elrom; Turkey Pledges Crackdown on Terrorists

Knesset members and Cabinet ministers headed by Acting Premier Yigal Allon joined thousands of mourners today at the funeral of Ephraim Elrom, the Israeli Consul General in Istanbul who was murdered Saturday by Turkish terrorists. Elrom was buried with full honors at the military cemetery at Kiryat Shaul. He was laid to rest near the grave of his only son, Gideon, who was killed in a plane crash less than two years ago. Elrom’s body was flown from Istanbul last night in a Turkish military transport. It lay in state at the Tel Aviv branch of the Foreign Ministry. Foreign Minister Abba Eban eulogized the late diplomat whom he described as the victim of a “merciless, senseless murder.” Chief Army chaplain Rabbi Shlomo Goren officiated at the burial services. The Turkish government was represented by its chief of protocol who accompanied Elrom’s coffin on the flight from Istanbul and by the Charge d’Affaires and members of the Turkish legation here.

Meanwhile, it was reported from Istanbul that a manhunt was ordered by the Turkish government in an effort to apprehend Elrom’s killers. Some 30,000 troops and police conducted a house-to-house search for the terrorists and the government called for new measures against the extremists. Three men were reported to have been arrested in connection with the kidnaping but martial law authorities who made the announcement gave no indication as to what part they may have played. Turkey’s Premier Nihat Erim sent a message to Premier Golda Meir stating that his government “will do everything in its power to give these killers the penalty they deserve.” According to reports, the kidnapers are still at large.

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