ANKARA, Turkey – Police have detained an armed man who briefly held up a ferry and threatened to blow it up to protest pro-Armenian slogans chanted at a slain journalist's funeral, a provincial official said Sunday.
The man, claiming to have plastic explosives on him, seized the ferry in the Dardanelles strait as it was on its way from Gelibolu to Lapseki late Saturday, said Yusuf Ziya Ince, deputy governor of Canakkale province.
He gave himself up to police after 2 1/2 hours and released all passengers unharmed, Ince said.
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The man was armed but was not carrying any explosives, Ince said. Police were investigating reports that the man was a former army sergeant.
Television footage showed the man shouting, "I did it for the country," as he was being led away from the ferry to a police vehicle.
Ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who spoke out about the mass killings of Armenians in the early 20th century, was gunned down outside his newspaper a week ago.
His funeral inspired a massive outpouring of support for reconciliation between Armenians and Turks.
Ince said the man was angered by the pro-Armenian slogans chanted at the funeral. The protester called himself a "Patriotic Turkish Fedai," or one who sacrifices himself for homeland, and unfurled a Turkish flag aboard the ferry during his action, Ince said.
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