The Bloody Year of Istanbul – What Happened in 2016

20th July 2015, Şanlıurfa, Suruç: An explosion, caused by the suicide attack of the ISIS, during a press release of the Federation of Associations of Socialist Youth, cost the life of numerous young people. This shocking event should become the starting point for a series of terror attacks in the Turkish Republic. Istanbul, the vivid and […]

20th July 2015, Şanlıurfa, Suruç: An , caused by the attack of the ISIS, during a press release of the Federation of Associations of Socialist Youth, cost the life of numerous young people. This shocking event should become the starting point for a series of terror attacks in the Turkish Republic. , the vivid and crowded heart of the country, was one of the most targeted cities. Here is the list of the incidents happened 2016 in Istanbul:

  • January 12

At the Sultanahmet Square, one of the most popular tourist places of Istanbul, a suicide bomber, belonging to ISIS, approached to a group of tourists, mainly Germans, and killed ten  and injured 15 people.

  • March 19

Another suicide attack, caused by ISIS, occurred. That time, the place of the detonation was one of the most crowded places of Istanbul, the Istiklal Street.  The target, 5 dead and 39 injured, was again mainly tourists.

  • June 7

A car bomb exploded next to a police bus carrying the Turkish riot squad the so-called Çevik Kuvvet in Vezneciler, an area near the Istanbul University. The result was a street full of destroyed shops and buildings, 12 dead and 36 injured. Later TAK, a split group of PKK, was charged with the explosion.

  • June 28

This time, the Atatürk Airport turned to a place of carnage. Three explosions, caused by the ISIS, terrorised the life of almost 300 humans. 44 of them could not survive. Two of the attacks happened at the main international terminal whereas the third one was at the parking lot of the airport.

  • July 15

In the night of 15th July Turkey was shocked by a coup attempt planned in the long run by the Gülen movement. Starting with the closing of the Fatih Sultan Mehmet and the Bosporus Bridge, the night turned to a bloody fight on Istanbul´s streets between the soldiers and the population invoked by the President of Turkey for the defend of the Turkish democracy. The officials claimed that 240 people died at that night. The outcome was a wave of purges. Mass arrests and suspension hit several layers of the Turkish society. After a few days the state of emergency has been declared. Today the effects of the coup attempt are still rigorously noticeable installed into Turkish politics and media as well as the everyday life of the population like the change of the name of the Bosporus Bridge into 15 Temmuz Şehitler Bridge.

  • October 6

In the near of a police station in Yenibosna a motorbike, filled with bombs by the PKK, detonated. Luckily, although the place of the explosion was close to several public institutions, only few people were harmed.

  • December 10

The recent explosions occurred in Beşiktaş near to the Vodafone Arena Stadium after the game between Beşiktaş and Bursaspor. At first a car bomb detonated and then a few minutes later a suicide bomber killed himself at the Maçka Park. The victims of the attacks were for the most part policemen that had been on duty during the game. The officials claimed 44 dead and over 150 injured.

The hope for more peaceful days in 2017 ended with the first day of the New Year in the city. The armed attacker of the ISIS killed many young people in Reina, Ortaköy within a few minutes and escaped from the crime scene. He is still on the run. However, neither the attack of Reina nor the one in Izmir after a few days ago was surprising as much as the attack of Suruç was shocking for the Turkish population because terrorism have become a part of the daily life.



Serap Güngör
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