Istanbul’s historical square in blood - RAPORTAGE

Istanbul’s historical square in blood  - <span style="color: red;">RAPORTAGE
# 12 January 2016 16:44 (UTC +04:00)

According to APA’s correspondent to Turkey, authorities have said German holiday makers were the target. The group of 20 tourists is believed to have been followed by terrorists upon their arrival in Istanbul. A worker at Hilal buffet at the Sultanahmet tram station has told APA that a powerful explosion was heard around 10:15 this morning.

“Three minutes later, the site were surrounded by police forces, with ambulances starting to carry the injured to hospital. I could not learn the number of casualties at the time. Later I heard that 10 people had been killed and 15 injured. This incident will cause tourist flow to Istanbul to decline and our affairs will be affected. We did not expect a terrorist act to take place here. No one knows when and where terror would befall us,” he said.

Court does not permit the local media to broadcast anything on the incident. But foreign media outlets are permitted to cover the incident and there are plenty of media representatives at the site. The area is completely surrounded by police. Two police officers are viewing the recordings of a security camera installed on a pole at the German spring in the square. After the incident, citizens and tourists are nowhere around in and near the Sultanahmet Square, the most attractive tourist site, while trams keep on working on the schedule.

Security sources have said that after the experts are done gathering evidence from the scene and the area will remain closed for some more time.

Nihat Ali Ozcan, a well-known Turkish expert on terrorism and security, said in a statement to APA that this incident was no surprise to Turkey.

“… because what is happening inside and outside Turkey is preparing a fertile ground for terrorist acts to take place in the country. ISIL has claimed responsibility for today’s incident. It means Turkey must prepare well-considered tactics and strategies in its fight against various terrorist organizations from now on. It’s no coincidence that the target was German tourists. Sultanahmet is the heart of Turkish tourism, so the carrying out of today’s terrorist attack in this area was purposeful,’ said the expert.