A Turkish court passed down 53 life sentences without chance of parole to a Turkish citizen who allegedly organized a deadly car bomb attack in the southern district of Reyhanli that killed 52 people in 2013, state-run Anadolu (AA) news agency reported on Monday.
Yusuf Nazik (34), was sentenced by the Ankara 9th Criminal Court to one count of life in jail without parole for disrupting the unity of the state, and 52 counts for killing 52 people in Reyhanlı, a town next to the Syrian border.
Nazik was also sentenced to an additional 5,306 years and six months for various other crimes, including disrupting the country’s unity and integrity, attempted murder of 130 people, being a member of an armed terrorist organization, holding illegal explosive substances for terrorist organization activities, and damage to property.
During the final court hearing, Nazik reportedly admitted that he gave the final order to Nasir Eskiocak, the perpetrator.
He also shared the names of 24 suspects who he claims were involved in the attack, hoping to receive a reduction in sentencing, according to Diken news portal.
Aykan Hamurcu and Hasan Kabakulak, who was arrested, according to Nazik’s statements, did not attend the hearing in person but took part in the proceedings through a teleconference system.
The court handed down 15 years to both suspects on charges of aiding terrorist organizations.
Nazik was captured on September 12, 2018, in an operation by the Turkish Intelligence Agency (MIT) in Syria’s Latakia district, a port city controlled by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, once a close friend to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
At the time, Nazik reportedly confessed that he had planned the attack and organized the transportation of explosives in line with the order from Syrian intelligence.
The Reyhanli bombing is the second bloodiest attack in the country’s history after a bombing in Ankara in October 2015.