Elderly mother of Suruc bombing victim jailed for seven years on terror charges

The mother of Evrim Deniz Erol who died in a suicide bombing carried out by the Islamic State (ISIS) that killed 33 people and injured 104 more in Sanliurfa’s Suruc district in 2015 has been sent to jail on terror charges, Gazete Duvar news portal reported on Tuesday.

Besra Erol, 60, was on Monday sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.

She was convicted on charges that include being a member of a terrorist organization and sent to Mus E Type Closed Prison.

The mother was accused of being a member of a terrorist organization due to her remarks in a speech that she gave up on the grave of her son Evrim Deniz Erol and some other press statements regarding his death.

Erol’s lawyer Abdulbakir Erdogmus told Gazete Duvar that accusations against the mother are legally unacceptable.

“Mrs. Erol faced trial for her press statements and phone calls. This evidence cannot be regarded as elements of a crime,” said Erdogmus adding that she will serve three-quarters of the seven and a half years in jail. The lawyer argued that half of the people in the predominantly Kurdish populated eastern and southeastern regions should be sent to prison provided that press statements are accepted as evidence for terror accusations.

“That’s the case in Mus province lately. It’s legally impossible to accept [a practice such as] this,” Erdogmus underlined.

The Suruc Families Initiative gave a press statement in the Human Rights Association (IHD)’s Istanbul branch and called for Besna Erol’s release.

“We have been demanding that perpetrators of the Suruc bombing be put on trial for the last four years since the attack. However, the arrows of the trial turned to those who seek justice for Suruc. Our friends, lawyers, those who demand justice for Suruc have been arrested in these four years,” a member of the initiative said.

The representative of the initiative further said that the prison sentence given to Erol is a punishment for all the Suruc families and therefore, unacceptable.

Suruc bombing, one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Turkey’s recent history, took place on July 20, 2015, during a meeting of a mainly Kurdish youth group, mostly university students planning to help rebuild neighboring Kobane in Syria.

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