On Sunday, an explosion in Istanbul killed at least six people and injured 81 others in what Turkey’s president has described as a terrorist act.
Recep Tayyip Erdoan, the president of Turkey, a transcontinental republic located between Europe and Asia, condemned the attacks on Sunday afternoon and wished the injured a swift recovery.
“Relevant units of our state are conducting investigations to identify the perpetrators of this horrible act as well as the circles behind it,” he said. “Threatening Turkey and the Turkish people has never succeeded and will never succeed.” May our people have peace of mind that all parts of this incident will be investigated and the offenders will be punished appropriately.”
The explosion occurred on Istiklal Avenue, a major pedestrian street in Istanbul. The explosion occurred around 4:20 p.m., or 13:20 GMT, according to Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya.
Turkish officials have recorded six deaths and 81 injuries since the blast. Several videos of the incident have surfaced on social media, including one in which an explosion can be seen in the distance before a huge noise sends pedestrians fleeing the scene.
Other films showed police managing the situation, people sprawled on the ground with broken limbs and bloodied appendages, and rescue services running to assist. Several foreign leaders issued public remarks condemning the deadly act.
On Twitter, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said she was “appalled by the explosion in #Istanbul,” adding that her thoughts are with the injured and families and friends of those lost their lives.” A similar statement was issued by the White House.
“The United States strongly condemns today’s act of violence in Istanbul, Turkey,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “Our thoughts are with those who have been harmed, and our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones.” In the fight against terrorism, we stand shoulder to shoulder with our NATO ally Turkey.”
The UK government issued a travel alert in the area, while the consulate general of the State of Kuwait in Istanbul verified that no Kuwaitis were hurt in the incident. Kuwait’s consulate in Istanbul advised nationals to avoid gathering locations, exercise care and adhere to security authorities’ orders.
Between 2015 and 2017, Turkey was targeted by a series of deadly explosions carried out by the Islamic State group and Kurdish separatists. According to the Associated Press, Erdoan’s anti-terrorism campaign targeting militants, Kurdish legislators, and activists is a crucial rallying point for him as he runs for reelection next year.