Ten life sentences given to ISIL militants in Turkey
NİĞDE – Doğan News AgencyA total of 10 aggravated life sentences have been given to three militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) who staged an attack in the Ulukışla district of the Central Anatolian province of Niğde in 2014.
The Niğde Criminal Court of Serious Crimes sentenced Benjamin Xu to four aggravated life sentences, 179 years and six months in prison and a 225,000-Turkish Lira fine.
A second militant, Çendrim Ramadani, was given five aggravated life sentences and 174 years and six months in prison along with a 225,000-lira fine, while Mohammad Zakiri, a Macedonian citizen, was given an aggravated life sentence and 124 years and six months in prison along with the same fine.
The other militant, Fuad Mövsümöv of Azerbaijan, was given 13 years and nine months in prison.
The court also ordered the acquittal of the other defendants, K.Ö., H.Y., K.Y., and A.Y. It also separated the file of Mehmet Aşkar, who faces 15 years for “being a member of an armed organization.”
Participating in the trial from a high-security closed prison in Ankara via videoconference, Xu claimed that he did not kill anybody but had been fooled as he was just a child.
Mösümöv also pleaded not guilty during the trial.
The attack in March 2014, which is considered the first attack staged by ISIL in Turkey, left three people dead, including a police officer, a sergeant and a civilian, and wounded five others. Four people are being tried under arrest and five are being tried without arrest.
The prosecutor had initially sought four aggravated life sentences amounting to 280 years and six months in jail for the arrested Xu, four aggravated life sentences amounting to 285 years in prison for the arrested Ramadani, and one aggravated life sentence amounting to 258 years in jail for the arrested Zakiri. Meanwhile, police conducting a search of two computers which were seized during a raid on an ISIL cell in the southeastern province of Gaziantep last month have found reports on how to attract more adherents to the group.
According to the report, which police confirmed to be sent to ISIL’s headquarters, a search was conducted on religion-based terrorist organizations in Turkey and stated these groups had made some mistakes in their structuring period and that ISIL would not make these mistakes. In the reports, it was also noted that a Turk-Kurd-based civil war that could be initiated with a series of terror attacks would play into the group’s hands.
Meanwhile, according to some allegations, after a raid on an ISIL cell in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır last year, which led to the death of seven militants of the group, a call was made suspecting that an attack would be carried out targeting police in southeastern province of Bingöl. However, it was alleged that Bingöl police conducted an operation against the group five days after the call as they did not have sufficient vehicles and personnel.