Turkish court sentences 9 defendants in 2015 ISIL attack trial to life in prison

A Turkish court in Ankara on Friday handed down 101 life sentences without the chance of parole to each of nine suspects in a terrorist bomb attack in Ankara on Sept. 10, 2015 during a political rally that left more than 100 people dead and 391 wounded, BBC Turkish service reported.

The terror attack, carried out by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), was the deadliest in Turkey’s history. The defendants were convicted of first degree murder and violating the constitutional order.

In total, 36 suspected Islamic State supporters were charged, some of them in absentia, with murder, membership of a terrorist organisation, and seeking to change the constitutional order, Reuters reported.

Each defendant was also sentenced to 10,557 years in prison for the attempted murder of the 391 wounded, including 20 children.

Sevinç Hocaoğulları, one of the lawyers for the victims, said the court did not want to expand the scope of the investigation to the public servants who failed to prevent the attack.

“Our petition received a negative answer immediately after we filed it,” Hocaoğulları said.

However, she also expressed hope to expand the investigation since the trial for the suspects at large would continue and therefore the victims’ families could still make legal demands.

The Cumhuriyet daily reported in 2016 that certain security officials ignored tips from the intelligence service on expected terrorist attacks by ISIL at political rallies and meetings.

An investigation was launched into Cumhuriyet journalist Kemal Göktaş on accusations of putting officials engaged in counterterrorism operations in danger in a report he wrote.

Turkey held a general election on Nov. 1, 2015, some three weeks after the Ankara attack.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu announced after the attack that they would not hold political rallies due to security concerns. (turkishminute.com)

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