Top court rejects claims of negligence of public officials in Suruç massacre

Turkey’s Constitutional Court has rejected claims by 13 applicants accusing public officials of “violating victims’ right to life” in the 2015 Suruç massacre by means of “systematic negligence with regard to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant [ISIL],” Turkish Minute reported on Tuesday.

Thirty-three people were killed and more than 100 others were injured when an ISIL suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Amara Culture Center in Suruç on July 20, 2015.

According to the ruling, published in the Official Gazette on Tuesday, the court found the application that in March 2018 called for the prosecution of public officials over their negligence in the massacre “inadmissible,” based on several reasons that include the “non-exhaustion of domestic remedies” and “a lack of concrete evidence” proving the claims.

The applicants argued that public authorities chose not to prevent the suicide attack, although they were in possession of intelligence on it, since they didn’t carry out a preventive search of the area where the bombing took place, amounting to willful negligence.

The court stated in the ruling that there was no intelligence report suggesting beforehand that ISIL would undertake a suicide bombing in the Suruç district of the southeastern Şanlıurfa province.

The 2015 explosion occurred while a group of university students was releasing a press statement on their planned trip to the Syrian town of on the Turkish border to help with reconstruction efforts. The city, which was recaptured from ISIL by a coalition of Kurdish forces supported by the US in January 2015, was in ruins as a result of intense fighting.

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