Turkish court jails nine defendants for life for 2015 Ankara bombings
An Ankara court on Aug. 3 handed down heavy sentences to nine suspects in a trial on the deadly 2015 Ankara train station attack that killed more than 100 people, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The nine suspects were each handed 101 life sentences over the twin bombings in the capital three years ago that was blamed on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
They were also given additional sentences of 10,557 years each for seeking to kill the hundreds of people who were present at the rally.
The court also sentenced 10 other suspects to jail on charges of being members of a terror organization.
The Ankara bombing on Oct. 10, 2015 was the deadliest terror attack carried out in Turkey by ISIL, with suicide bombers targeting 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 general election. The attack left 102 people dead.
Turkey was in 2015 and 2016 hit by a succession of attacks that left hundreds dead in the bloodiest terror strikes in its history.
The attacks were blamed on ISIL militants as well as outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants, who have been at war with the Turkish state for over three decades.
The horror reached a peak just 75 minutes into 2017 on New Year’s night when 39 people were killed, mainly foreigners, in a gun attack by a jihadist gunman on an elite nightclub in Istanbul.
After the attack on the Reina nightclub, there had been a lull in such events in Turkey but the tension and high security in cities including Istanbul and Ankara never went away.
The Uzbek gunman who carried out the Reina attack, Abdulqadir Masharipov, was detained by the authorities after 17 days on the run and is now on trial.
ISIL claimed that attack, the first clear claim it has ever issued for any attack in Turkey. It never claimed the Ankara bombing, although Turkish officials said it was behind the attack.