Breaking News

Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Headline

Dozens of New Year revellers gunned down in Turkish nightclub

Turkey ’s bloody year

Share on Facebook January 1, 2016, Reporter : Big News Network, Reader : 603

news

ISTANBUL, Turkey - The shock of the New Year's Eve attack that killed nearly forty people in the capital is still reverberating throughout Turkey on Sunday morning.

Twenty one of the confirmed 39 people killed in the attack in an Istanbul nightclub have been identified. 80% of that number are foreginers while the balance are from Turkey,

The attacker is still at large and is the subject of a massive manhunt across the country.

"We are face to face with a terror attack," Turkish Interior minister Suleyman Soylu said Sunday.

The United States issued a statement strongly condemning the attack.

"We stand in solidarity with our NATO Ally Turkey in combating the ongoing threat of terrorism. Sadly, this heinous attack is only the latest effort to kill and maim innocent civilians. These attacks only reinforce our strong determination to work with the Government of Turkey to counter the scourge of terrorism," the statement said.

The drama began a little over an hour into the New Year when at 1:15am Sunday, a gunman dressed in dark clothes barged into the Reina nightclub in Istanbul after killing a policeman who was guarding the entrance.

"He entered the club and attacked innocent people who were there to celebrate the new year. It was a cruel, cold-blooded act," Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said Sunday.

The mass shooting occurred despite widespread security throughout the country. Many locals decided to spend New Year's Eve at home over security concerns.

There have been no claims of responsibility for the attack.

Timeline: Turkey's bloody year

"I got shot in the (expletive) leg, man," he told journalists in English as he was taken into an ambulance. "These crazy people came in shooting everything."

A security camera captured the moment a gunman dressed in dark clothing dashed into the Reina nightclub as bullets ricocheted in the street.

The assailant, who has not yet been identified, opened fire inside the high-end nightclub in the busy Besiktas neighborhood, according to Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu.

CNN Map

Reina Nightclub

© Mapbox © OpenStreetMap Improve this map

Besiktas, on the European shore of the Bosporus, is known for its expensive, upper-middle class neighborhoods. The popular area had been under heavy police security for new year celebrations.

Ortakoy, where Reina is located, is a vibrant seaside neighborhood that caters to a wide range of people, from the uber-rich who party at clubs like Reina, to students who buy stuffed baked potatoes from vendors along the Bosporus.

Reina itself is one of the first clubs to open along the famous strait and remains a touchstone for Istanbul's exclusive nightlife. It boasts a classic Istanbul view.

Several analysts said the attack looked more like a jihadist-inspired attack.

"In terms of the soft-target aspects of this attack, it's a youthful place, a bar that's pretty well-known in particular to expats. It's sort of the lively area of Istanbul, and especially on New Year's Eve night -- all of those have hallmarks of ISIS-inspired, if not directed attacks to maximize casualties and get a lot of news around it," said Juliette Kayyem, CNN's national security analyst.

Turkey's recent tumult

Turkey has endured a recent wave of terrorist attacks, leaving many people wary.

"This attack is, of course, a horrible development, but not shocking to many Turks who chose to stay inside this New Year's Eve," said Aykan Erdemir, former member of the Turkish Parliament.

 

Turkey's downward spiral into instability

"Turkey is known to host these big parties to celebrate New Year's, but this year most citizens were wary of Islamist attacks so they chose to celebrate it at home with their friends."

He said the attack seemed similar to what happened at the Bataclan, a Paris concert hall that was attacked by gunmen in 2015.

"This is an attack on the Western lifestyle. This is an attack on Turkey's secular, urban way of living. And this will simply fuel the ongoing cultural clashes, the ongoing polarization in Turkey," Erdemir said.

The United States condemned the attack.

"That such an atrocity could be perpetrated upon innocent revelers, many of whom were celebrating New Year's Eve, underscores the savagery of the attackers," National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

The US State Department said the attacks like this one on its NATO ally "only reinforce our strong determination to work with the government of Turkey to counter the scourge of terrorism."

The US Embassy in Turkey warned citizens to avoid the area where the attack occurred.

A violent year

Turkey faces numerous battles across different fronts. Not only has the Syrian conflict and refugee crisis spilled over into Turkey, but Turkey is also battling ISIS and Kurdish militants.

Both have staged attacks in Turkey, which is still reeling from a bloody and failed military coup in July.

ISIS is suspected in a June attack at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport that left 44 people dead and an explosion at an August wedding, not far from the border with Syria, that killed at least 54 people.

Meanwhile, Turkish security forces clash on an almost daily basis with Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants, mostly in predominantly Kurdish parts of southeastern Turkey.

A pair of bombings in Istanbul killed 44 people and wounded 155 others December 10 in an attack by a breakaway group of the PKK. The two explosions occurred after a heavily attended soccer game at Besiktas Vodafone Arena.

On December 17, a car bomb exploded near a public bus, killing 13 soldiers in the central province of Kayseri. Three days later, a gunman assassinated Russia's ambassador to Turkey at an Ankara art gallery.

CNN's Steve Almasy, Nadeem Muaddi, Laura Koran, Joel Williams and Steve Brusk contributed to this report.

More Euro Asia news of the month

Photos German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Y'ld'r'm Discuss Political Relations

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected today to accept Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. In a televised interview, he...

Photos Trumps Properties have Brought New Accusations of Conflicts of Interest

Sixty-four trade organizations, foreign governments, Republican candidates, and others have stayed or held events at properties related...

Photos Turkish President, Jordanian King Unite Against US President

ISTANBUL, PAKISTAN - The news of the United States' intention to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel dominated talks...

Photos About 300 IS members detained in Turkey

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 2 By Rufiz Hafizoglu – Trend: Over the past ten days, 283 members of the Islamic State (IS) were detained...

Photos Rights activists face trial over terror charges in Turkey

ISTANBUL, Turkey - Facing terror charges, 11 human rights activists, including two senior Amnesty International officials, have gone on...

Photos Turkish Court Remands German Journalist in Custody Over Terrorism Charges

ANKARA - A German journalist went on trial for terrorism charges in Turkey on Wednesday, saying she was innocent and demanding her...

Photos Ties between U.S. and Turkey worsen, visa services suspended

ISTANBUL, Turkey - After Turkish authorities arrested a U.S. Consulate employee of Turkish nationality for alleged links to the network...

Photos Turkish President’s Speech in New York witnesses violence

NEW YORK, U.S. - Controversial Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s speech in New York witnessed scenes of violence after...

Photos Writer who recognizes Armenian Genocide may be handed to Turkey

PanARMENIAN.Net - A Turkish-born German writer facing extradition from Spain to Turkey, which accuses him of "terrorism", on...

Flying Reimagined

Stock Index

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Life Style

Photo Gallery

FEUILLETON