Source: Bianet

Five years ago today (July 20), a suicide bomb attack claimed the lives of 33 people who came together in the district of Suruç in Turkey’s southeastern province of Urfa to bring toys to children in Kobanê, Syria.

Just as their loved ones did on July 20, 2015 before they lost their lives following a statement for the press, the groups gathered in front of the Amara Cultural Center in Suruç as part of a commemoration ceremony organized by the Suruç Families’ Initiative earlier today. However, the police intervened against the group.

What happened in Suruç?

Upon the call of the Socialist Youth Associations Federation (SGDF), around 300 young people came together in Suruç in Turkey’s southeastern province of Urfa on July 20, 2015. They were there to bring toys and humanitarian aid to Kobanê in Syria. While they were in front of the Amara Cultural Center for a statement for the press, a suicide bomb attack was carried out. 33 people lost their lives in the attack:

Koray Çapoğlu, Cebrail Günebakan, Hatice Ezgi Sadet, Uğur Özkan, Nartan Kılıç, Veysel Özdemir, Nazegül Boyraz, Kasım Deprem, Alper Sapan, Cemil Yıldız, Okan Pirinç, Ferdane Kılıç, Yunus Emre Şen, Çağdaş Aydın, Alican Vural, Osman Çiçek, Mücahit Erol, Medali Barutçu, Aydan Ezgi Salcı, Nazlı Akyürek, Serhat Devrim, Ece Dinç, Emrullah Akhamur, Murat Yurtgül, Erdal Bozkurt, İsmet Şeker, Süleyman Aksu, Büşra Mete, Duygu Tuna, Polen Ünlü, Nuray Koçan, Vatan Budak, Mert Cömert.

It was identified that Şeyh Abdurrahman Alagöz was the one who carried out the bomb attack that claimed the lives of 33 people in Suruç. A confidentiality order was imposed on the file on July 23, 2015 on the ground that “the examination of the documents in the file would jeopardize the purpose of the investigation.”

Judicial process

Filed by the Şanlıurfa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office 18 months after the massacre, the indictment demanded that three defendants, one of whom was arrested, be given aggravated life sentence aggravated for 104 times each.

Yakup Şahin, one of the defendants, was arrested as a suspect of the October 10 Ankara massacre, which claimed the lives of 103 people in 2015. According to the indictment, Deniz Büyükçelebi and İlhami Ballı, the other two defendants, are in Syria.

The lawsuit filed into the Suruç Massacre started 21 months after the incident at the Şanlıurfa 5th Heavy Penal Court on May 4, 2017. The only defendant of the case who was not a fugitive did not attend the hearing.

In the final hearing of the case filed against the public officials on January 9, 2017, Mehmet Yapalıal, the then district security director of Suruç, was fined 7,500 lira for “neglect of duty and misconduct in office.” The court has ruled that he shall pay the fine in 12 instalments.

There were two police officers as defendants in the second case against public officials, who are still tried for “misconduct in office” at the Suruç Penal Court of First Instance.