News / Europe

    IS Blamed for Istanbul Suicide Bombing

    Bomber Targets Istanbul Tourist Areai
    X
    January 12, 2016 8:56 PM
    At least 10 people are dead after what Turkey says was an attack by a suicide bomber Tuesday in one of Istanbul’s prime tourist areas. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
    Watch video report by Luis Ramirez

    Multimedia

    Dorian Jones

    Foreign tourists are said to be among those killed and injured in a suicide attack in Istanbul’s main tourism district.  Turkish officials say at least 10 people - nine of them Germans - were killed and 15 others injured.

    Police and ambulances were quickly on the scene of the blast.  The powerful explosion heard across much of the city struck late morning in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district the main tourism quarter of the city.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the attack.

    “Turkey is a top target for all terrorist groups in the region," he said, adding that “Turkey is fighting against all of them equally."

    Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the attack is believed to have been carried out by Islamic State.

    Speaking after the an emergency security meeting he pledged to fight the militant group until it no longer “remains a threat” to Turkey or the world.

    "Our fight against Daesh (an arabic acronym for Islamic State) that carried out this attack will continue with determination. We will not take a step back in our fight against Daesh, our resolve will continue as in our fight against all terrorist organizations," he said.

    Known details of the attack were given a news conference following the emergency meeting of senior ministers and intelligence chiefs. 

    The bomber was identified as a 28-year-old described as of Syrian origin, and most of those killed and injured were foreign nationals. 

    Turkey's state-run news agency said Davutoglu spoke on the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to express his condolences.

    Speaking to reporters in Berlin, Merkel condemned the attack, saying that the “international terrorism is once again showing its cruel and inhuman face.”

    Local media, citing security officials, say the Islamic State is the chief suspect behind the attack.

    Although the group never claimed responsibility, IS militants were blamed last year for two suicide attacks that killed more than 130 people, including one in the capital, Ankara.

    The government has been criticized by the opposition and its allies for failing to crackdown hard enough on the jihadist group, instead focusing attention on its battle against the Kurdish rebel group the PKK, a charge it strenuously  denies. 

    Observers say Kurdish rebels could also be a suspect, Turkish security forces are carrying out a major crackdown across towns and cities in the predominantly Kurdish southeast.

    A splinter Kurdish group called TAK claimed responsibility for a mortar attack last month on Istanbul’s second largest airport.

    WATCH: video from the scene

    Video from Scene of Istanbul Blasti
    X
    January 12, 2016 2:00 PM
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says a Syrian suicide bomber is believed to be responsible for Tuesday's blast in Istanbul that killed at least 10 people and wounded 15 others

    The Sultanahmet neighborhood is Istanbul's main sightseeing area and home of the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia museum.

    Witness Ali Hakan Ataman said it was a big explosion.  "I was in a shock for a while right after it happened.  Blood and flesh were spattered on us and I am sure I saw six or seven people laying on the ground dead..." he said.

    Another witness, Erdogan Salihli, said people went briefly silent right after the blast.  "As people were trying to figure out what really happened the cries of people at the scene was very tragic," he said.

    You May Like

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Igor from: Russia
    January 12, 2016 9:13 AM
    Those who play with fire will be burnt to ashes!

    by: meanbill from: USA
    January 12, 2016 8:22 AM
    The terrorists and their followers are attacking everywhere and have even become an army on the ground conquering more territory than half the countries in the world and have become a world power to be reckoned with, all because no countries on earth have ever stopped them from doing it?

    Turkey is part of NATO that has the greatest military in the history of the world, but even NATO is powerless to stop these terrorist attacks, or even stop and defeat the terrorist army on the ground attempting to form their Caliphate? .. In a war they can't afford to lose, they're losing it? .. Because the elected leaders of the NATO countries have no military expertise whatsoever? .. think about it?
    In Response

    by: Mehmet from: Turkey
    January 12, 2016 1:14 PM
    They just don't want to stop it because they earn money from it.Selling guns and other things not just Turkey some other countries such as America and Russia and maybe some more.Theoretically it takes 30 minutes to destroy Is by Turkey and think about America and NATO.I am a muslim and ı am totally against Is and terrorism.There should be peace Bill and everyone should be part of it without discrimination like muslim or christian .
    In Response

    by: Daniel from: Seattle
    January 12, 2016 10:38 AM
    Islam doesn't defeat armies, it defeats civilizations. What good is an army to a people who do not perceive themselves as being conquered? They've already conquered the minds of a great many in our civilization, Bill. They are identified by their insistence that bringing them here is about immigration...when it's actually colonization. How do you feel about being conquered and colonized?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora