Turkish leftists quit consulate in Cologne
Everyone is breathing easier after the bloodless end to the hostage-taking at the Turkish Consulate in Cologne Nov. 4.
But authorities take the warning seriously that they must guard against further attempts at political violence among the 1.5 million strong Turkish community in West Germany.
The 11 hostage-takers, who identified themselves on banners as members of the revolutionary left, fired warning shots from pistols as they seized the consulate Nov. 3 and took some 70 hostages, including consulate employees and visa applicants.
They hung banners reading ''No NATO democracy in Turkey'' and ''No to the junta constitution.'' They also demanded radio and TV time to air their grievances, but this demand was denied. Police forces, including West Germany's special anti-terrorist squad, stood by in case of further violence.
In the course of the day, the Turkish gunmen released groups of hostages, and police judged that there was no immediate threat to the remaining hostages.
The police concentrated on negotiations, and after 15 hours the gunmen surrendered and were arrested. The only promise the authorities made to them was that their applications for political exile would be considered.
This was the most violent political incident involving Turks to date. Turkish political marches and rallies take place sporadically in the large cities the Turks flocked to in the economic boom years when West Germany was recruiting ''guest workers'' primarily from Mediterranean lands.