According to Hurriyet Daily News, a gunman opened fire on New Year revelers at a packed nightclub on the shores of Istanbul’s Bosporus on Jan. 1 killing at least 39 people, including many foreigners, before fleeing the scene.
The terror attack at the waterside Reina nightclub began when 2017 in Turkey was just 75 minutes old, after a year of unprecedented bloodshed that saw hundreds die in strikes blamed on Kurdish militants and jihadists.
The assailant shot dead a policeman and a civilian at the club entrance and then went on a shooting spree inside, where up to 700 people were feting the New Year.
The Reina lies on the shore of the Bosphorus Strait and is one of Istanbul’s best-known nightclubs, popular with locals and tourists alike. During the attack, some partygoers who managed to flee jumped into the freezing cold Bosphorus strait to escape harm.
For the turkish Daily Sabah (pro-Erdogan) Daesh strikes at what it hates and fears. Daesh (ISIS) terror group has claimed responsibility for the Reina nightclub attack. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group released on Monday a statement claiming responsibility for the raid.
Seven Saudi Arabian, two Indian, one Canadian, one Syrian, one Israeli, two Morrocan, one Lebanese, one Belgian and four Iraqi nationals were killed, according to latest statements.
The interior minister Süleyman soylu said that 65 people are in hospitals, receiving treatment, and added that “4 of those injured are in a critical condition. One of them is severely injured,”.
Turkish police forces continue with the manhunt for the assailant, who is yet to be unidentified.
Previous reports had suggested that the assailant was dressed in a Santa Claus costume, however, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım dismissed the claims. CCTV footage shows gunman killing man outside Reina nightclub and firing into the street.
Security measures had been heightened in major Turkish cities, with police barring traffic leading up to key squares in Istanbul and Ankara.
In Istanbul, 17,000 police officers were put on duty, some disguised as Santa Claus and others as street vendors, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported.
For the Turkish Sol, the massacre in the first hours of the new year is likely very to be the job of a “deep” organization. What is certain (not a possibility) is, however, that in our country there are thousands of “fanatics” ready to be in use of those organizations who are not that deep.
— Gianluca Costantini (@channeldraw) 1 janvier 2017
— Actu17 (@Actu17) 1 janvier 2017
"They kept firing at us. My husband was shot in 3 places."
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) 1 janvier 2017