Istanbul, explosion at İstiklal

At least 6 dead and 81 injured after explosion in Istanbul

The explosion occurred on İstiklal Avenue in Istanbul. Everything points to a terrorist attack, whose authorship is being investigated.

At least 6 people have died and 81 have been injured after the explosion that occurred early this afternoon on the busy İstiklal Avenue in Istanbul, not far from Taksim, in the heart of the Turkish metropolis.

In a press appearance given before leaving for Indonesia to attend the G-20 summit, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan confirmed the event, adding that the first indications pointed to a possible terrorist attack, whose authorship is still being investigated.

“Initial observations show that a woman played a role in the explosion… Based on the initial information provided by the (Istanbul) governor, we suspect that the explosion could be an act of terrorism,” Erdoğan said, assuring that the perpetrators will be punished and that terror will not break the Turkish people.

“The competent authorities of our State are working to find the perpetrators behind this heinous attack,” the Turkish president said. According to Turkish media reports, the office of the Chief Prosecutor of the Republic in Istanbul has already assigned 5 prosecutors to investigate the case.

Everything points to a terrorist attack

After the explosion, which occurred at 16:20 Turkish time (13:30 CET), the police quickly cordoned off the area and evacuated İstiklal Avenue, while a helicopter flew over the area and maan ambulances moved to the scene. The injured were taken to several hospitals in the city. The Ministers of the Interior, Süleyman Soylu, and Justice, Bekir Bozdağ, interrupted their agenda and travelled to Istanbul. The metropolitan mayor of the city, Ekrem İmamoğlu, also traveled to the scene.

Images shared on social media of the moment of the explosion in Istanbul, which has become a trending topic worldwide, show people walking along the avenue – especially crowded on a Sunday – when the detonation suddenly occurred, with the aim of causing as many victims as possible. It is not ruled out that the number of deceased may increase in the coming hours.