Investigation Into A Deadly Bombing In Istanbul As A Suspected Terrorist Attack
As Turkey’s tourist sector works to recover from the coronavirus epidemic, the bomb disrupted a sense of tranquility that had been present for years and caused at least six deaths, 81 injuries, and other damages.
Turkey — At least six people were killed in a bomb assault on a busy pedestrian route in the heart of Istanbul on Sunday. Authorities believe the incident may have been carried out by terrorists, and it shattered the tranquility as Turkey’s tourism sector struggles to recover from the epidemic. The authorities provided little information in the hours that followed the incident, which was the bloodiest in Turkey in more than five years, other than to indicate they were looking into the possibility that a woman may have set off the device.
Before taking out for Indonesia for the Group of 20 summits, Mr. Erdogan warned reporters that attempts to force Turkey and the Turkish nation to submit through terror “will not attain their purpose today, as they did not in the past.”
According to the state-run news agency Anadolu, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said early on Monday that the individual who planted the device at the scene has been detained. He did not give his name, but he implied that Kurdish fighters in northern Syria had planned the strike.
A short distance from Taksim Square, the explosion jolted the heart of one of Istanbul’s busiest areas, scattering bleeding bystanders on the pavement and causing waves of tourists to flee the area. By Sunday night, 81 individuals had been hurt, with two of them in severe condition, according to Turkish officials.
On Istiklal Avenue, a major pedestrian area dotted with ancient buildings, stores, and restaurants and crossed by a red-and-white tram, the explosion happened in front of a clothes store. Turkish people and visitors from other countries are always crowded in the area, wandering, shopping, listening to live music, and purchasing roasted chestnuts and Turkish ice cream.
One of Turkey’s top soccer clubs was due to play nearby that evening, luring spectators to the area, making the Boulevard much more overcrowded than normal on Sunday.
The region near Istiklal has suffered in recent years as travel restrictions and concerns about coronavirus infection kept many visitors away, similar to many other regions of Turkey where the economy depends on tourism. However, the region recovered this summer as the epidemic subsided and Turkey became a more appealing travel destination because of the weak Turkish lira.
According to footage posted on social media, a loud explosion and an orange flame ascended to the sky at 4:20 p.m. on Sunday. As security officers surrounded the bomb scene, ambulances with sirens screaming rushed there. A police chopper flew overhead in a loop.
Serhat Sen, a 30-year-old real estate commissioner who was riding his motorcycle a little more than half a mile from the scene, stated, “I first assumed it was a natural gas explosion.”Mr. Sen said, “People were terrified, sobbing, and frantically trying to escape.” “I began to shiver. I would have gone there if I had been a little more hurried.
After a woman remained in a seat for more than 40 minutes, a bag nearby detonated, the justice minister Bekir Bozdag stated in a subsequent TV interview. According to him, there were two scenarios: Either someone set off the device after the woman departed, or it did so by itself. According to Mr. Bozdag, it was thought that the bomb had nails to boost the explosion’s force.
The blast ended a five-year period in which Turkey seemed to be putting the fatal strikes that had devastated its cities in prior years behind it. Messages of condolence flowed in from Pakistan, Europe, the Middle East, and other countries. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that the alliance “stands in solidarity” with Turkey.