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Two Extremists Sentenced to Death in Kidnap-murder of Israeli Official

December 29, 1971
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Five members of the extreme left-wing Turkish Peoples Liberation Army were sentenced to death yesterday by a military court in Istanbul for their part in the kidnap-murder of Israeli Consul General Ephraim Elrom last May 22. The death sentence for two of the members was reduced to life imprisonment. Kamil Dede, 22, and Meomi Demir, 27, both male, were found guilty of attempting to overthrow the government by force, kidnapping, murder and other acts of terrorism.

Three women students in their 20s–Ilkay Demir, wife of Meomi Demir; Kadrive Denizozen, and Ruchan Manas–had their death sentences on the same charges reduced to life imprisonment. Tulay Tad, 30, a nurse, was sentenced to 10 months in jail for harboring several of the accused, and three youths and a young woman were acquitted. The three chief suspects–Mahir Cayan, Ulas Bardakoi and Ziya Yilmaz–escaped from prison earlier this month and are still at large.

Elrom, 58, was abducted at his diplomatic residence May 17 by armed persons who hustled him into a car and drove off. In a subsequent note the kidnappers said his life would be spared if “all revolutionary guerrillas under detention presently are set free.” The Turkish Peoples Liberation Army was said by Turkish authorities to be aligned with Palestinian terrorist groups.

On May 19 a message believed to be in Elrom’s handwriting was delivered to his wife, Elsa; it assured her: “I am OK. Do not worry.” Three days later he was slain. Elrom was buried May 24 with full honors in the Kiryat Shaul military cemetery in Israel.

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