Ankara train station attack suspect recants testimony due to ‘pressure’

Ankara train station attack suspect recants testimony due to ‘pressure’

ANKARA – Doğan News Agency
Ankara train station attack suspect recants testimony due to ‘pressure’

AP photo

One of the suspects in the 2015 Ankara attack that killed 103 people has recanted his testimony after claiming it was exacted under duress. 

Yakup Şahin, who was captured after the deadly bombing blamed on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and took the stand in Ankara on Nov. 8, had pleaded guilty to bringing the two suicide bombers responsible for the attack to Ankara, said he gave a false statement to police officers due to their threats. 

 “My testimony is a deal I made after they promised me I’d stay [in jail] for three to five months and soon after I’d be freed. I was not released in three to five months. I do not accept this testimony. If everybody listens, I will read the defense I wrote,” Şahin said.  

After being permitted by the court delegation’s head, Şahin said: “All the truth is here. The previous testimony has nothing to do with the reality. I do not have any relation to any armed terror organization. I am a man who goes from home to work, work to home. I have never been apart from my family.” 

Şahin claimed he learned about the bombing on the radio after the attack had occurred. He said he found the explosives which police found in his home in the trunk of his car after he lent it to Halil İbrahim Durgun, an ISIL militant who detonated himself in November 2015 in a police raid in order not to be captured. Şahin said he brought the explosives to his house as he did not want them to stay in his car. He said he was detained before he had the chance to ask Durgun about the bombs. 

Şahin also claimed that after being captured, he was taken to a coffee room in a police station and fell asleep there as he said he was “tired and under the influence of drugs.” 

“When I woke up, I found some people who I did not know taking selfies with me. Later one of them said, ‘Good job, there were a couple of boys who were killed,’ and left smiling,” he said. 

A total of 36 ISIL suspects face a total of up to 11,750 years in prison on charges of attempting to change the constitutional order and killing 100 people as well as possessing unlicensed weapons and explosive material within the scope of a terrorist organization’s activities, according to the indictment.

The Ankara bombing on Oct. 10, 2015, was the deadliest terror attack carried out in the country by the jihadist group, killing 103 people, including the two suicide bombers. Some 391 others were wounded.

The attack occurred when the suicide bombers linked to ISIL targeted NGOs and supporters of left-wing parties holding a peace rally outside the capital’s main train station, weeks ahead of the Nov. 1, 2015, Turkish general elections.