Over 100 detained in 2015 ISIS attack commemoration in Istanbul

Istanbul police on Wednesday detained over 100 people during a commemoration ceremony in the megacity for the victims of a 2015 Islamic State (ISIS) suicide attack in southeastern Turkey that claimed the lives of 33 people, Gerçek Gündem news site reported, citing the İstanbul Governor’s Office.

A total of 106 people participating in the commemoration of the Suruç massacre in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district were taken into police custody as security forces encircled the group to prevent them from staging a march, it said. 

The detainees are accused of resisting the police and face investigation, according to Istanbul Governor’s Office.

On July 20, 2015, a suicide bomber targeted a group of left-wing activists who had gathered in the southeastern Şanlıurfa province’s Suruç district to take supplies for the reconstruction of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani across the border following the end of an ISIS occupation. Thirty-three people were killed in the attack and another 70 were injured.

The massacre marked the beginning of a series of ISIS attacks in Turkey, including the suicide attack in the Ankara Train Station on Oct. 10 that killed 110 during a peace rally calling for an end to the rekindled armed conflict between Turkey and Kurdish militias.

Participants in another commemoration of the Suruç attack capital Ankara’s Güvenpark were also met with police intervention, including pepper spray, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported. A number of people were taken into police custody, it said.

Last year, a Turkish court handed down 34 life sentences with no option for parole for Yakup Şahin, the only defendant under arrest in the Suruç bombing case, BirGün newspaper reported. Şahin is also accused of planning a terrorist attack against a large gathering of predominantly leftist and pro-Kurdish groups in Ankara in 2015 in which 109 people were killed.

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