6 Killed, 81 Injured in Istanbul Bombing

On November 14, 2022, a bomb blast hit Istanbul’s popular street, Stiklal Avenue, killing six people and injuring 81. The blast happened at about 4:20 PM local time and had been intentionally timed to occur when the street was most crowded, as a popular soccer club was preparing to play nearby. 

Turkey’s interior minister has accused Kurdish militants in northern Syria of being responsible for the bombing. Turkey’s justice minister, Bekir Bozdağ, said that “a woman sat on a bench for 45 minutes,” and that the explosion occurred mere moments after she left. The woman, Ahlam Albashir, suspected of having left the bomb, has been arrested by police. She was among 47 people detained by police.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu specifically accused the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) of being responsible. They denied responsibility, claiming “we will not directly target civilians.” The PKK has been battling for decades to achieve Kurdish self-rule in southeast Turkey. Turkey, the EU, and the US all label them as a terrorist group. 

The bombing itself was a shocking scene. Helicopters were circling overhead as ambulances went back and forth. Many shopkeepers standing in their doorways on the normally bustling street looked stunned. Hayat, who was in an internet café on Istiklal Street when the blast took place, said there was turmoil following the explosion. “I saw people running around and wounded people were passing by the internet café towards the hospital,” she said. “It was a frenzy.” Another eyewitness, Cemal Denizci, was about 50m (54 yards) from where the blast took place when it happened. He stated, “There was black smoke. The noise was so strong, almost deafening.” 

In response to the attack, countries from around the world expressed their condolences. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the US stood “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Turkey in “countering terrorism.” French President Emmanuel Macron wrote in a tweet in Turkish: “We share your pain… We are with you in the fight against terrorism.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, also writing in a tweet in Turkish, said: “The pain of the friendly Turkish people is our pain.” Countries including Pakistan, Italy and Greece also expressed their solidarity. 

Those dead were all Turkish citizens: a man and his nine-year-old daughter, a woman and her teenage daughter, and a married couple. Of the 81 treated in the hospital, 61 were released. By November 15, twenty were still being treated in the hospital. Justice Minister Bozdag said in a statement to local press, “Turkey continues with its fight against terrorism with determination… no terrorist organization will succeed in any kind of plot against Turkey.”

About the Author

Adi Hansoty
Adi Hansoty is a junior at IMSA who lives in 07 B-wing. He is from Long Grove and is very excited to serve as a staff writer. Outside of writing, he likes to play sports, guitar, and listen to music.

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