Libyans bought 1,400 guns from Turkey: minister
From online dispatches
A photo taken by a pedestrian shows a man armed with a shotgun early on Nov 30, 2011, who opened fire in a tourist area of Istanbul, wounding two people. AFP photoA number of Libyans who were brought to Turkey for medical treatment purchased a total of 1,452 unrifled guns before they left the country, Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin said, according to daily Milliyet.
Şahin provided the numbers as an answer to a question by Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy İsmet Büyükataman.
An official statement by Şahin said 1,195 wounded Libyans were brought to Turkey for medical treatment during the internal conflict in the country and 784 of the Libyans returned home, while the rest remained within Turkey as of today.
The statement revealed that 155 Libyans who completed their treatment in Turkey bought 1,452 unrifled firearms before they returned to their country.
Foreigners visiting Turkey were able to purchase unrifled fire arms from gun stores by showing their passports. The weapons were given to the buyers dismantled and the buyer had to leave Turkey within a given time period.
The practice was changed after a Libyan gunman stormed Topkapı Palace in Istanbul in November, injuring two people before he was killed in a shootout with the police. It was revealed that the gunman had procured the weapons he used in the raid from a gun store in Turkey.
According to the new practice, gun store owners send the purchased weapons to a determined adress in the customer's home country or to the country's customs office.