- Title: Trial begins of Islamic State suspects in Turkey's worst suicide bombing
- Date: 7th November 2016
- Summary: ANKARA, TURKEY (FILE -OCTOBER 10, 2015) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF FORENSICS AND POLICE OFFICERS SIFTING THROUGH THE AREA COFFINS IN POLICE VAN EMERGENCY WORKERS CARRYING COFFIN AWAY
- Embargoed: 22nd November 2016 14:30
- Keywords: Turkey blast. trial Islamic State Kurds
- Location: ANKARA, TURKEY
- City: ANKARA, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Judicial Process/Court Cases/Court Decisions
- Reuters ID: LVA00357G4OCN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:More than a dozen suspected members of Islamic State appeared under police protection in an Ankara courtroom on Monday (November 7) accused of involvement in Turkey's deadliest suicide bombing, which killed more than 100 people in the capital just over a year ago.
The defendants were among 36 suspects, some still at large, on trial for plotting the double suicide bombing outside the main train station in Ankara on Oct. 10, 2015, which killed mainly young pro-Kurdish and left-wing activists at a rally.
The 35 Turkish and one Kazakh suspects face charges of murder, membership of a terrorist organisation and seeking to change the constitutional order, according to the indictment.
Some face multiple sentences of up to 11,750 years in prison.
They were brought into the courtroom under the protection of riot police in body armour and helmets, who stood in line in front of them as families and lawyers of the victims chanted "murderers" and demanded the state also accept responsibility.
The double suicide bombing took place 20 days before a fiercely contested general election, raising tensions between the authorities and opposition supporters among the Kurdish community, Turkey's largest minority.
Mehtap Sakinci Cosgun, a lawyer whose husband was killed in the bombing said that if you don't carry out an effective and comprehensive investigation there will be no chance of achieving an outcome.
"When you look at this case, the civil servants were excluded because of the confidentiality order, lawyers of the plaintiffs were treated like defendant lawyers. We were denied access to many documents. We reached those documents through press. How can we expect justice from such a trial? The answer is obvious," she said.
One of the suicide bombers was identified as Turkish citizen Yunus Emre Alagoz and the other as a Syrian citizen who has yet to be identified, according to the indictment seen by Reuters.
Three of the suspects on trial on Monday appeared by video link from the southern city of Gaziantep near the Syrian border, where the Islamic State cell responsible for the attack is thought to have been based.
Islamic State has grown increasingly active in Turkey, carrying out attacks over the past year including a gun-and-bomb attack at Istanbul's main airport in June that killed 47 people and the bombing of a Kurdish wedding in Gaziantep in August that killed 57 people.
Turkey launched a military incursion into Syria shortly after the wedding attack in a bid to push the radical jihadist group away from its border and prevent Kurdish militia fighters from gaining ground in their wake.
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