A bomb explosion on one of Istanbul’s most popular streets has left the city’s residents devastated. At least six people were killed and eighty one others wounded . President of Turkiye, Erdogan, called it a “treacherous attack” that had the “smell of terrorism,” though he did not give any further details. The incident happened today at approximately 4:20 p.m. local time
A lone bomber or act of terrorism
According to BBC News, Olga Geurin, one of their journalists, happened to be there. It was said that the police immediately descended on the area, and ambulances raced to the scene while helicopters circled overhead. By the time they arrived, however, it was too late.
One witness, BBC News states, told AFP that “people were running in panic…There was black smoke. The noise was so strong, it was almost deafening.”
Cemaal Denizci, the man who spoke to AFP, also described seeing “three or four people on the ground.”
Istikal Avenue, which leads to Taksim Square, is one of Istanbul’s most popular streets. Normally, it is a peaceful and quiet place where families and friends like to gather. Today, however, its tranquil scenery abruptly turned into a nightmare, leaving shoppers and store owners staring at the destruction in horrified shock.
Six people were evidently killed and around eighty-one wounded. Two of those injured and admitted to a hospital were in critical condition.
As previously reported by the BBC, government officials in Turkiye immediately declared it an act of terror. In the words of Vice-President Fuat Oktay, for example, the incident was “a terrorist attack carried out by a woman.” President Erdogan himself promised to punish the perpetrators. The country has received an outpouring of sympathy to date, including from Greece.
An explosion has been reported in Istanbul’s iconic Istiklal street pic.twitter.com/XH8snkuhyR
— Punit Khimasia (@khimasiapunit) November 13, 2022
Greece immediately offered its condolences. Prime Minister Mistotakis twitted: “Shocked and saddened by the news of the heinous attack in Türkiye. I wish a speedy recovery to the wounded and offer my sincere condolences to the families of the victims, to President Erdogan and to the Turkish people. Greece unequivocally condemns all forms of terrorism.”
Shocked and saddened by the news of the heinous attack in Türkiye. I wish a speedy recovery to the wounded and offer my sincere condolences to the families of the victims, to President @RTErdogan and to the Turkish people. Greece unequivocally condemns all forms of terrorism.
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) November 13, 2022
Previous terrorists attacks in Turkiye
This was the second attack to take place in one of the country’s largest cities. On March 19, 2016, a suicide bomber targeted the district of Beyoğl in front of the office of the District Governor.
A bomb went off at 10:15 on the corner of Ball Street and Istikial Avenue. Five died—one being the suicide bomber—as the international news media reported later. Thirty-six civilians suffered injuries. Of these, seven were severely injured, though it was not only nationals who were victims. Twelve international visitors were also harmed, and two individuals with Israeli-US nationality were amongst those declared dead. Two days later, Turkey’s Interior Minister declared the bombing a terrorist act, which he linked to the ISIL.
Euronews reported that the country has also been hit multiple times in a series of bomb attacks that, to this date, have left security personnel and more than five hundred citizens dead.
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