An alleged terrorist bomb attack caused at least six deaths and 53 injuries on Sunday in the central Istiklal street in Istanbul, confirmed the president of Turkey , the conservative Islamist Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“ There are people who have died in a bomb attack at 16:20 (13:20 GMT) in Istiklal. I offer my condolences to the dead and my wishes for recovery to the injured. The state will find the organizers of this terrorist attack ,” Erdogan said in an appearance on TRT public television.
“The people can be sure that the aggressors will be punished. Four people died at the scene and two in the hospital; there are six dead and 53 wounded according to the latest information,” added the president.
🇹🇷 | Momento de la explosión en el centro de Estambul: pic.twitter.com/EwyOAdNL5A— Alerta News 24 (@AlertaNews24) November 13, 2022
Erdogan was speaking moments before leaving for Indonesia, where the G20 heads of state summit will start on Tuesday.
“If we say that it is definitely a terrorist act, we can be wrong. But from what the governor (of Istanbul, Ali Yerlikaya) has told me, it looks like terrorism. A woman is believed to be involved. But a final decision will be made after the investigation,” he added.
Istiklal Street, a pedestrian avenue full of shops, which starts in the emblematic Taksim Square, is full of passers-by at all hours, including many tourists.
Meanwhile, the Turkish broadcasting authority RTUK decreed a “temporary ban” on broadcasting images of the scene of the events and giving information on possible suspects, except for statements by authorities, so as not to hinder the ongoing investigation.
🇹🇷 | AHORA: Estambul (se recomienda discreción al ver el vídeo) pic.twitter.com/wEzEvUrGhP— Alerta News 24 (@AlertaNews24) November 13, 2022
In addition, a Turkish league football match, which was to take place between Besiktas and Antalyaspor, at a stadium located just 700 meters from Taksim, was postponed to another date, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) reported in their website.
In 2016 there were several terrorist attacks in Turkey, most of them carried out by networks of the Islamic State terrorist group, in Istanbul, one of them on Istiklal street itself.
However, after the massacre caused by a jihadist on New Year's Eve that year in a nightclub on the banks of the Bosphorus, no further attacks have been recorded in the city.
The Istiklal pedestrian street, in the European part of Istanbul, is one of the busiest in the city, with many shops, which are also often visited by many tourists.
🇹🇷 | Centro de Estambul: (se recomienda discreción al ver el vídeo) pic.twitter.com/BT2N4VMHZB— Alerta News 24 (@AlertaNews24) November 13, 2022
With information from Efe.