Turkish court sentences Vezneciler bombing suspects to over 1,000 years behind bars

Turkish court has handed down 13 life sentences and 893 years in prison to suspects linked to a deadly 2016 car bombing in Istanbul, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Monday.

The Istanbul court sentenced Eyüp Sever, Murat Bal, and Gülsen Bahadir to over 1000 years in prison on four different crimes each for the deliberate killing of 12 people, half of them police officers, and violating the constitution. 

On January 2020, Turkish prosecutors demanded 13 life sentences and up to 1,362 years of prison for the incident.The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) claimed the attack in Istanbul’s central Istanbul Vezneciler district on June 7, 2016, which killed six civilians and six police officers.

TAK said the attack was an act of revenge against heightened Turkish army operations in the country’s Kurdish majority southeast.The PKK is an armed group that has been at war for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for over three decades. Peace talks with the PKK collapsed in 2015, ending a two-year ceasefire in a conflict that has killed more than 40,000 people.