'Mastermind' of deadly 2013 Turkey bombing sentenced to life in prison

'Mastermind' of deadly 2013 Turkey bombing sentenced to life in prison
Yusuf Nazik, accused of masterminding the 2013 Reyhanli bombings, was sentenced to 53 aggravated life sentences on Monday.
2 min read
13 May, 2019
Nazik was captured by Turkish intelligence operatives in Syria last year [Anadolu]

Turkey on Monday sentenced the man behind a deadly 2013 bombing on the country's border with Syria to life in prison.

Two car bombs were detonated in Reyhanli, a town in Turkey's southern Hatay province just a few kilometres from the Syrian border, in May 2013, killing more than 50 people and injuring at least 140 others.

Yusuf Nazik, a Turkish national accused of masterminding the attack, was captured by Turkey's intelligence service in an operation in the coastal Syrian city of Latakia last year.

Turkish courts last year sentenced 9 suspects to life imprisonment and a further 13 people to 10 to 15 years in prison over the bombings.

Nazik was on Monday sentenced to 53 aggravated life sentences, according to the state Anadolu news agency.

Turkish officials had for years suspected the involvement of the Syrian regime in the attack before apprehending Nazik.

Nazik reportedly confirmed the regime's "active role" in the bombings after confessing to planning the attack, saying he had acted as a middleman between a Syrian intelligence official and the bombers, local media reported last year.

Others, however, have claimed the bombings were likely perpetrated by the Islamic State group or Jabhat al-Nusra.

Documents leaked by Turkish hacker collective RedHack reportedly pointed to the involvement of "Al-Qaeda-linked groups".

The Reyhanli bombings were the deadliest terror attack in Turkey’s history before a double bombing at a 2015 pro-Kurdish political rally in the capital Ankara killed 109 people.

Thousands of Syrian refugees live in refugee camps in Reyhanli and the wider Hatay province. At least five Syrians were among those killed in the 2013 attack.

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