Jailed ISIL militants attempted to establish caliphate in Turkey: Court
İsmail Saymaz – NİĞDEThree jailed militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attempted to overturn the constitutional order and establish a caliphate in Turkey by staging attacks with “serious weapons,” according to a decision by a court regarding the case into ISIL militants who killed three people on March 20, 2014, in the Central Anatolian province of Niğde.
Three militants, Benjamin Xu, Chendrim Ramadani and Mohammad Zakiri, were sentenced to 10 aggravated life sentences each for staging the attack in Niğde’s Ulukışla district in what is considered to be ISIL’s first attack in Turkey.
Three people were killed, including a police officer, a gendarmerie sergeant and a civilian.
The Niğde Court of Serious Crimes said the militants left their countries to join the jihadist organization in Syria and received training in ISIL camps. The court also said the militants were planning to stage a “sensational” attack in Istanbul.
“The militants entered Turkey by illegal methods in the name of ISIL, which declared the Turkish Republic an enemy and an apostate, with serious weapons and explosives on March 19, 2014, in order to carry out a sensational attack against Turkey. It was revealed that their aim was to stage an attack in Istanbul that would create an impact in the world and that the weapons and explosives seized were proof that this was their aim,” the decision said.
Taking the aforementioned aims into account, the court sentenced the militants to aggravated life sentences for “attempting to change the constitutional order using force and violence.” Xu, Ramadani and Zakiri did not receive any reductions in their sentences because they had planned to kill more than 10 people, did not consider the effect of the penalty on their future and refused to recognize the court.
The militants were sentenced to multiple aggravated life sentences, nearly a hundred years of prison and fines for killing the three people.
The three sought to reach Istanbul from the border province of Hatay by taxi but encountered security forces on March 20, 2014. Xu, Ramadani and Zakiri then opened fire on the security forces with automatic weapons, killing gendarme Adil Kozanoğlu and policeman Adem Çoban, while wounding eight others. The militants then killed Turan Yaşar, the driver of a truck they hijacked.
The militants were finally caught in two different villages in possession of three Kalashnikov rifles, three pistols, seven hand grenades, two silencers, three bayonets, a walkie talkie and a battery.