Turkey court hands life sentences to 14 over 2016 attack


ISTANBUL: A Turkish court on Friday handed down life sentences to 14 people convicted of planning a deadly 2016 attack outside a stadium in Istanbul, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Forty-seven people were killed in the attack near the Vodafone Arena when a car bomb hit a police vehicle and a suicide bomber blew himself up after a football match for one of Istanbul’s biggest clubs, Besiktas.

The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), a radical Kurdish group with ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), claimed responsibility.

A court in Silivri on the outskirts of Istanbul sentenced four defendants to aggravated life sentences on charges of “a planned murder and bombing,” and 10 others on charges of “aiding murder,” Anadolu said.

Aggravated life sentences carry harsher prison conditions.

Four other defendants received prison sentences of up to 15 years for “membership in a terror organization,” it added.

Turkey suffered a wave of attacks in 2016 by Kurdish separatists following a breakdown in peace talks with the government — a time when it was also hit by a number of attacks by Daesh terrorists.

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