Syrian woman sentenced to life in prison for Istanbul bombing in 2022

A court has sentenced a Syrian woman to life in prison for a deadly explosion in a busy shopping district in Istanbul in 2022, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported.

Alham Albashir was given seven consecutive life sentences after being convicted on terrorism charges.

The blast on November 13th, 2022 tore through Istiklal Avenue, a thoroughfare in Istanbul lined with shops and restaurants, killing six people, including two children, and wounding 99 others.

Albashir and a man named as Bilal el-Hacmaus were intelligence operatives of the YPG, a Syrian Kurdish militia group, and its political branch, the PYD, according to an indictment prepared by Istanbul prosecutors last year.

Turkey regards the YPG as the Syrian arm of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, which has waged a decades-long insurgency within Turkey to establish an autonomous region in southeastern Turkey.

Albashir and el-Hamaus were given special training by the YPG and PYD and sent to Turkey along with explosives, where they travelled to Istanbul with the help of a network established by the organisation, the indictment said.

El-Hacmaus managed to flee the country.

The fight between the PKK and Turkey has claimed tens of thousands of lives since the 1980s and Turkey and its Western allies have labelled PKK a terrorist organisation.


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