US, Turkish witnesses on N17

A senior Turkish diplomat who survived a November 17 assassination attempt in 1991 and the daughter of a US Air Force sergeant whom the extreme left-wing group killed a few months earlier testified in court yesterday at the close of the fifth week of the trial. Deniz Bulukbasi, whom the group targeted in a bomb attack on his car on July 16, 1991 in the Athens district of Neo Psychico, said he was surprised at the extent of the group’s knowledge of affairs at the Turkish Embassy, where he was serving as charge d’affaires. «In the proclamation they sent, they mentioned the names of all three of us who were in the car,» he told the court, which is sitting in the Athens Korydallos prison complex. «They said the ambassador was away at the time, and I was in charge. I wonder how they knew.» Bulukbasi said the vehicle’s protective armor plating had saved his life during the explosion, which was set off by remote control. «After the blast, the car looked like a piece of paper you crumple up to throw away,» he said. «They intended to kill us.» Nicole Latrice Bowser, whose father, Ronald Stewart, was killed on March 12, 1991 in Glyfada, southern Athens, angrily rejected a November 17 claim – made in a proclamation – that the US Air Force sergeant had been a «mercenary killer.» «My father was neither a murderer nor a mercenary. He was a father and a husband,» she said in a testimony broken by tears. «The only murderers I know are these 19 in the dock. If the fact that my father was an American living here excuses his murder, then all members of the Greek military abroad should be murdered. What do you think of that?» «I never understood why they killed him,» she added. «He was not a high-ranking officer.»