Istanbul — On Sunday, a bomb exploded on a major pedestrian thoroughfare in the heart of Istanbul, killing six people, injuring others, and causing people to run as flames rose.
Online footage depicted ambulances, fire trucks, and police at the scene on Istiklal Avenue, a busy shopping and dining avenue that leads to Taksim Square. In one video, a huge explosion could be heard and passersby could be seen fleeing after seeing flames.
President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan referred to the explosion as a “treasonous attack” and stated that its perpetrators would be punished.
In addition to the six fatalities, Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya tweeted that 53 people were injured, numbers that Erdogan also provided.
On November 13, 2022, police and rescue personnel work at the scene of an explosion on the bustling pedestrian route Istiklal in Istanbul, Turkey. KEMAL ASLAN / Reuters
Erdogan did not specify who was responsible for the incident, but he stated that it had “the stench of terrorism” without providing details and emphasizing that this is not yet proven. He stated that police and the governor’s office were conducting investigations, which included checking surveillance footage from the area.
Between 2015 and 2017, the Islamic State and illegal Kurdish factions carried out a series of deadly bombs against Turkey. In the attacks, almost 500 civilians and security personnel were slain.
Turkey’s media watchdog imposed temporary limits on coverage of the explosion, prohibiting the use of close-up images and films of the explosion and its aftermath. Following attacks and accidents, the Supreme Council of Radio and Television has imposed similar restrictions in the past.
Videos were among the Twitter and other social media sites with restricted access.