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Turkish court sentences woman to life in prison for deadly Istanbul bombing

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  • Alham Albashir, a Syrian woman, was sentenced to life in prison by a Turkish court for her role in a deadly explosion in Istanbul in 2022.
  • She received seven consecutive life sentences after being convicted on terrorism charges.
  • The explosion occurred on Nov. 13, 2022, on Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul, killing six people, including two children.

A court on Friday sentenced a Syrian woman to life in prison for a deadly explosion on 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 Nov. 13, 2022 tore through Istiklal Avenue, a thoroughfare in Istanbul lined with shops and restaurants, killing six people, including two children, and wounding 99 others.

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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.

Representatives of the Turkish community put flowers over a memorial placed on the spot of an explosion on Istanbul’s popular pedestrian Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul, Turkey, on Nov. 16, 2022. Alham Albashir was given seven consecutive life sentences after being convicted on terrorism charges for the attack. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra, File)

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.

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



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