Turkish court arrests six students for distributing leaflets for Suruç Massacre commemoration

The Turkish court on July 18 arrested six of 46 university students who were detained by the police while distributing leaflets in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district for the commemoration of the Suruç Massacre in which ISIS killed 33 people in 2015.

Duvar English

A Turkish court on July 18 arrested six leftist university students who were detained in Istanbul while distributing leaflets calling for the commemoration of 33 people killed in a suicide bomb attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Suruç district of Urfa on July 20, 2015. 

Turkish police on July 17 beat and detained 46 members of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF) in Kadıköy district. 

The prosecutor referred nine students to the criminal court of peace on duty for arrest, and six of them were arrested and sent to prison on the charges of "resisting officers and violating the law on demonstrations and marches."

On the 8th anniversary of the massacre, leftist youth organizations called for the commemoration to be held in Kadıköy on July 20 as in the previous years. The commemoration has been subjected to severe police attacks and violence over the past years.

In 13 of the 18 months following the attack on the Peoples’ Democratic Party rally on June 5, 2015, there was at least one bomb attack with the loss of life across Turkey. Nearly 500 people were killed and thousands injured in the attacks. Either the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks, or government officials said they were carried out by one of these organizations.

Some 33 people died and 104 people were wounded when ISIS bombed Amara Cultural Center in the Suruç district in 2015. ISIS targeted young people who gathered in the center with the SGDF’s call to deliver toys to children in Kobanê province of Syria, which was then under ISIS attack.

On October 22, 2021, the final hearing of the lawsuit about the attack came to an end. The only defendant arrested, Yakup Şahin, was found guilty and has been sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment. He was responsible for the Ankara Train Station Massacre in 2015 and was already in prison during the trial. No other potential suspects were arrested.