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Turkish Police Take Alleged Terror Accomplices to Court

Turkish police have taken 15 alleged accomplices of the four Istanbul suicide bombers to a state security court for questioning by prosecutors specializing in terrorist cases. Germany's foreign minister arrived in Ankara to express solidarity with Turkey over the attacks that killed at least 55 people.

Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler says the investigation into the bombings of two synagogues, Britain's consulate general and the offices of a London-based bank is making progress.

As police hauled 15 of the 18 people detained in conjunction with the bombings of the two British targets into the court, Mr. Guler told reporters investigators have identified the man who attacked the consulate general last Thursday. But he refused to name the bomber.

Despite of a news blackout imposed by the authorities, the Turkish press, quoting police sources, identified the man who rammed a pickup truck into the consulate general as Feridun Ugurlu, a Turkish citizen who is believed to have fought with Islamic radicals in Afghanistan and Chechnya.

The Milliyet newspaper reported that police used DNA samples from the man's father, matched them with skin and blood samples found in the wreckage of the bomber's truck and came up with a positive identification.

Local news media have also identified the bomber at the bank building as an associate of Ugurlu, and say both had close contacts with the men who staged the attacks a week ago Saturday against the two synagogues.

The news media say the four men were from Bingol, a city in Turkey's poor, mainly Kurdish southeast, which is considered a hotbed of Islamist activism. They report police on Sunday seized computers at Internet cafes in Bingol, owned by a brother of one of the four alleged bombers.

The government says the terrorist strikes that stunned Turkey have not diminished its resolve to keep strong ties with the West.

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer flew into Ankara Monday for a four-hour visit to convey to the Turks that his country stands side-by-side with them in the fight against terrorism. Mr. Fischer also sought to reassure his Turkish hosts that Germany supports their bid for membership in the European Union.

A German opposition lawmaker has alleged that the EU would import terrorism, if Turkey joined the bloc, an assertion that has been denounced by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and branded by Mr. Fischer as nonsense.

Mr. Fischer urged the Turkish government to speed up democratic reforms, improve human rights and reduce the role of the military in government, so as to meet EU membership requirements.