New probe into Sivas Massacre
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Demonstrators protest a court ruling to drop the case due to statute of limitations. DHA photoMalatya’s prosecutor with special authority launched yesterday an investigation into the Sivas Massacre in which 35 people were killed by an Islamist mob during an Alevi cultural festival in 1993.
Prosecutors with special authority Şeref Gürkan, İsmail Aksoy and Mehmet Badem will be in charge of the investigation, which will also look into possible links to terror organizations.
Sources in the Malatya prosecutor’s office said the statute of limitations is not in question for the probe.
An Ankara court recently dropped the trial of seven suspects allegedly involved in the killings since the offenses fell beyond the 15-year statute of limitations. The ruling sparked protests from the relatives of the victims and Alevi organizations.
In the first stage of the Sivas case, 33 suspects were sentenced to death in 2000 for what the court deemed an attempt on the secular constitutional order.
Their sentences were commuted to life in prison when Turkey abolished capital punishment.
Thirty-three intellectuals and two hotel employees perished during an Alevi cultural festival on July 2, 1993 when an Islamist mob torched the Madımak Hotel in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas.