Turkish court acquits ISIL emir’s wife in Gaziantep attack
İdris Emen – KAYSERİ
57 people, including 40 children, were killed in the attack on a wedding party in Gaziantep near the Syrian border on Aug. 20, 2016.
The acquittal was based on a number of legal reasons, one of which was that the jihadist group “does not accept women as group members.”
A heavy penalty court in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri overseeing the case made the ruling.
The Kayseri 4th Heavy Penalty Court has sentenced seven suspects in the case to 57 aggravated life sentences and 1,582 years in prison; one suspect to four aggravated life sentences and 227 years in prison; and two suspects to 9-34 years in prison. Two others suspects in the case were acquitted.
According to the court, a Syrian national believed to be 20-25 years of age came to Turkey and stayed at the house of ISIL’s Gaziantep Emir Mehmet Kadir Cebael until the night of the attack. They also said that Cebael was killed in a police operation on Oct. 16, 2016, at the house.
Fingerprints of Cebael’s wife, Fadile Cebael, were found on a bag containing materials used to make the suicide bomb detonated in the Gaziantep attack, according to the court.
“My husband brought some needs of the house. And, I, like every housewife, would put the materials in the fridge and put away the emptied bags to someplace else. This is why my fingerprints would have been imprinted [on the bag],” Fadile Cebael told the authorities.
The court ruling said that the presence of Cebael’s fingerprints on the bags was in line with the “nature of her daily life.” She had contact with the other suspects, but these did not prove that she joined the ISIL’s activities, according to the ruling.
“Taking into account that ISIL does not accept women as group members - on the contrary, it sees them as goods - the only job of women is housekeeping, raising children and serving their husbands [in ISIL-managed houses] - a personal conviction has not arisen in our court that the suspect committed the offense charged, and therefore, she has been acquitted,” said the court in its ruling.