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Syrian woman found guilty of bombing Istanbul by Turkish court

Photo-AP

Turkey has reached a significant milestone in the legal proceedings regarding the 2022 bombing incident in Istanbul's main shopping street. Ahlam Albashir, a Syrian national, has been sentenced to life in prison by a Turkish court. The bombing, which occurred on November 13, 2022, resulted in the tragic loss of six Turkish citizens, members of three families, and left approximately 100 others wounded. The attack shook the bustling street filled with shoppers and tourists, highlighting the devastating impact of such acts of violence on innocent lives.

The court's verdict handed down seven life sentences to Albashir, identifying her as the individual responsible for planting the bomb. The legal proceedings involved over 30 other defendants, each playing various roles in the planning and execution of the attack. While four defendants were released from prison, 10 others were ordered to be tried separately due to their unavailability for the proceedings.

Among the defendants, 20 individuals received prison sentences ranging from four years to life. Notably, six of them were sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment for charges related to "disrupting the unity and integrity of the state" and "intentional murder." The severity of the sentences reflects the gravity of the crimes committed and aims to ensure justice for the victims and their families.

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Turkey attributed the bombing to Kurdish militants, alleging that the attack was orchestrated from Kobani in northern Syria. This accusation comes amidst ongoing tensions between Turkish forces and Syrian Kurdish militias in the region. However, both the implicated militia and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a banned militant group in Turkey, have denied any involvement in the attack, and no group has claimed responsibility.

The incident adds to Istanbul's history of facing threats from various militant groups, including Kurdish, Islamist, and leftist factions. This attack is part of a broader pattern of violence that has plagued Turkey since the breakdown of a ceasefire between Ankara and the PKK in 2015. The protracted conflict between Turkey and the PKK has resulted in a staggering loss of life, with over 40,000 casualties since the insurgency began in 1984.

As Turkey grapples with the aftermath of yet another tragic incident, the legal proceedings serve as a reminder of the country's ongoing struggle to combat terrorism and uphold the rule of law. The sentencing of Ahlam Albashir underscores Turkey's commitment to holding perpetrators of violence accountable and seeking justice for victims of terrorism. However, the complexities of the situation highlight the challenges faced in addressing the root causes of extremism and achieving lasting peace in the region.

April 26, 2024 5:49 p.m. 14621

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