Blast Kills 6, Injures 81 in Istanbul Terrorist Attack
The Turkish interior ministry announced early on Monday, November 14th, that a suspect has been taken into custody in connection with the explosion that left at least 81 people injured and six dead in Istanbul on Sunday, November 13th.
According to state news agency Anadolu, the incident has been classified as a terrorist attack by Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay.
Oktay told reporters on Sunday, “We consider it to be a terrorist act as a result of an attacker, whom we consider to be a woman, detonating the bomb.”
According to Suleyman Soylu, the interior minister of Turkey, Kurdish separatists from the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are most likely responsible for the deadly alleged bomb attack.
In a press conference held at the scene of the attack on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue on Sunday, Soylu declared, “It is PKK/PYD terrorist organization according to our preliminary findings.” Soylu didn’t go into further depth or give specifics on how investigators came to this conclusion.
According to Soylu, “A little while ago, the person who left the bomb was taken into custody by teams of the Istanbul Police Department. Before their arrest, 21 more people were also taken into custody.” He added, “The face of terrorism is bitter, but we will continue this struggle to the end, whatever the cost is.”
Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag claims that surveillance footage depicts a woman sitting on a bench for more than 40 minutes before getting up just before the explosion and leaving a bag behind.
He added, “there are two possibilities. Either that bag or plastic bag has a mechanism in it, it explodes on its own or someone detonates it from afar. All of these are currently under investigation.”
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Derya Yank, the agency’s minister, said that among the six people who were killed were Yusuf Meydan and his daughter Ecrin, both employees of the Turkish Ministry of Family and Social Services.
Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya condemned the attack and sympathized with all affected, “We wish God’s mercy on those who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to the injured.”
According to Soylu, 50 of the 81 injured people have been released from the hospital, while 31 people are still receiving medical care for their injuries.
An outpouring of sympathy from around the world followed the explosion’s news.
French President Emmanuel Macron, whose nation had also experienced a horrific terrorist assault precisely seven years prior, expressed his sympathy for the Turkish people.
Macron tweeted Sunday, “On this day so symbolic for our nation, while we think of the victims who fell on November 13, 2015, the Turkish people are struck by an attack in their hearts, Istanbul, To the Turks: We share your pain. We stand with you in the fight against terrorism.”
The White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated on Sunday that the United States “strongly condemns the act of violence that took place today in Istanbul. Our thoughts are with those who were injured, and our deepest condolences go to those who lost loved ones.”
Charles Michel, President of the European Council, expressed his sympathy, “Horrific news from Istanbul tonight,” he said. “All our thoughts are with those currently responding and the people of Turkey at this very distressing time.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted that NATO “stands in solidarity with our ally Turkey” and sent his “deepest condolences” to the Turkish people.