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Former leader of Grey Wolves fatally shot in Ankara

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Sinan Ateş, an academic and the former president of the Grey Wolves (Ülkü Ocakları), the youth wing of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), was fatally shot in the capital city of Ankara on Friday, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

According to Anadolu, Ateş and his friend Selman Bozkurt were leaving an apartment in Kızılırmak when they were attacked by two men on motorcycles.

Ateş was seriously injured by a bullet to the head, while Bozkurt was wounded in the shoulder.

Ateş, who was given emergency treatment by first responders at the scene, was transported to a private hospital, where he was pronounced dead after arrival.

The police have launched an operation to catch the two assailants, Anadolu said.

The Grey Wolves are seen as the paramilitary wing of the MHP, an ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and their ideology is mainly based on Turkish nationalism. Therefore, Kurds, Armenians and other minorities in Turkey have occasionally been their targets.

In 2020 France officially banned the Grey Wolves after a center dedicated to the memory of those who died in the mass killings of Armenians during World War I was defaced with graffiti, including the name of the Grey Wolves.

Earlier last year, the European Parliament called on the European Union and its member states to examine the possibility of adding the Grey Wolves to the EU terrorist list.

In its 2019-2020 report prepared by Turkey rapporteur Nacho Sanchez Amor, the EP voiced concerns about the group, saying it was expanding to worrying levels not only in Turkey but also in EU countries.

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