Turkey holds information on suicide bomber over 'privacy'

Turkey holds information on suicide bomber over 'privacy'

Zeynep Gürcanlı - Ankara
Turkey holds information on suicide bomber over privacy Turkish authorities have refused to declare when and how the Russian suicide bomber who detonated herself in Istanbul last month had entered Turkey over her "privacy rights."

Sezgin Tanrıkulu, deputy chair of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), sent written questions to Turkish Prime Ministry's Information Center (BİMER) on Jan. 15, asking when and how Diana Ramazova entered Turkey. 

Ramazova, a Russian citizen who is originally from the Republic of Daghestan according to Russian media, had detonated herself at an Istanbul police station in the touristic area of Sultanahmet on Jan. 8, killing a policeman.

Tanrıkulu also asked the nationality of the woman, as well as unconfirmed rumors that she used a "special permit" given by Turkish authorities to cross to Syria with his husband, who was subjected to an Interpol arrest warrant as a suspected jihadist, in 2013.

The Border Crossings Directorate of Turkey's General Security Directorate refused to answer any of the nine questions Tanrıkulu posed. In the response sent to Tanrıkulu through BİMER, security officials said the requested information could not be shared with third parties without Ramazova's permission due to "privacy rights and the international treaties that Turkey signed."

Daily Hürriyet revealed last month that Ramazova was the widow of Abu Aluevitsj Edelbijev, a Norwegian citizen of Chechen origin, who she had met online and married in 2014 in an Islamic religious ceremony, though it is not known where the ceremony was conducted. 

According to Turkish and Norwegian intelligence sources, Ramazova and Edelbijev traveled to Syria in July 2014, took the names “Sümeyra” and “İdris,” respectively, and fought for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The couple spent three months in Istanbul in 2014. Ramazova entered Turkey from Russia with a tourist visa in May 2014, while no entrance logs for Edelbijev have been found, raising the suspicion that he entered the country illegally.  

It is not known whether the couple spent the three months in Istanbul on a honeymoon or if they were participating in ISIL activities and meeting with fellow extremists while in the city. 

Edelbijev died in Syria in December 2014 fighting with ISIL.