Bulgaria has Handed Over a suspected Terrorist to Turkey
A suspect of involvement in the terrorist attack in Istanbul's Taksim district has been extradited from Bulgaria to Turkey, announced the Turkish Minister of the Interior Suleyman Soylu.
Bulgarian authorities have handed over Hazni Golce, who helped fugitive suspect Bilal Hasan flee the country and cross the border between the two countries, after the terrorist attack and after Turkish authorities determined he was in the nearby Balkan country, said Interior Minister Soylu during a televised interview.
"We discussed the issue with (the authorities in) Bulgaria. They handed him (Golce) to us in Edirne around 18:00 local time. We thank Bulgaria for its cooperation," the minister added.
Hassan gave the bomber a ride on the day of the attack, which killed six people and injured 81 on Istanbul's busy Istiklal Boulevard.
The investigation of the General Prosecutor's Office in Istanbul into the terror attack is ongoing, with 59 suspects detained, 24 of whom are in custody pending investigation.
Earlier, Soylu reported that Hassan's brother was also captured by security forces.
According to the investigation, Ahlam Albashir, who planted the bomb, admitted that she entered Turkey illegally from the Syrian city of Afrin after receiving operational training from the YPG/PKK terrorist group. During its more than 40-year campaign of terror against Turkey, the PKK - listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the European Union - has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children and babies. The YPG is the Syrian branch of the organization.
Since the attack, Turkey has launched air operations against the terrorist group in Syria and Iraq, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hinted that a ground operation to clear northern Syria of terrorist groups that threaten Turkey is also on the agenda.
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