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Friday, 06 December 2019

Turkey sentences 3 over US embassy shooting

AFP , Thursday 21 Nov 2019
US Embassy in Ankara
File photo: US Embassy in Ankara, December 20, 2016 (Photo: AFP)
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A Turkish court sentenced three men to prison on Thursday for shooting at the US embassy in Ankara last year.

They got sentences ranging from just over three years to more than 10 years for "membership in a terrorist organisation" and "actions aimed at sabotaging relations with a foreign country", according to state news agency Anadolu.

The US embassy was fired upon from a car on August 20, 2018, without any casualties.

One of the men told the court he carried out "this stupid action" due to "patriotism" and alcohol.

"Whatever decision you take, long live the state," he said, according to Anadolu.

At the time, the government described the shooting as an attempt to "sow chaos" at a moment when relations between Turkey and the United States were deeply strained.

Washington had recently imposed sanctions against Turkey in response to its detention of an American pastor, who was later freed.

Anti-American sentiment was already widespread in Turkish media and influential political circles over a number of issues, particularly its refusal to extradite religious leader Fetullah Gulen, whom it accuses of orchestrating a failed coup in 2016.

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