Three people were killed and six others injured in a shooting at a Roma wedding party in the northwestern Turkish province of Bursa on Sunday night. Among the slain victims was Efkan Özçimen, head of the local Federation of Roma Associations.
The shootout erupted when members of a family were not invited to the stage at the outdoor party in Bursa's Yıldırım district. Özçimen was acting as master of ceremony and was calling out families to the stage for dancing in line with a Romani tradition. When he reportedly skipped the family whose names was in a list of those invited to dance, the family members, angered as not being invited to the stage, deemed it a serious insult. They returned with weapons minutes later and fired at the crowd in the party. Some armed party guests returned fire. Along with Özçimen, a child and an elderly woman were killed, while six others, including three with serious wounds, were injured.
The police detained five people in connection with the shooting while nearly 100 blank cartridges were found at the scene.
Efkan Özçimen was nominated for candidacy for the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), but his name was not included in the ultimate candidate list. Relatives of Özçimen said the shooting was not politically motivated.