The act widely condemned by the international community has been described by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim as a terrorist attack that “cannot intimidate” Turkey and her people. Most of the casualties were foreigners with majority of them coming from countries in the Middle East and North Africa. A policeman was killed outside of the nightclub.
The Prime Minister called for solidarity in the fight against terrorism as he underlined that “terrorism is humanity’s common problem” and “it’s aim is to break our unity and brotherhood.”
Yildirim who was speaking before ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack said that the Kurdish Peoples’ Party (PKK), Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and the Islamic State are behind it.
Although the identity of the assailant is yet to be established, Prime Minister Yildirim downplayed reports that the person was wearing a Santa Claus costume.
The attack is believed to be one of the deadliest carried out by a single person. Interior Minister Sulyman Soylu described the scene as a “massacre” carried out in “a truly inhumane savagery” as he hopes that the attacker “will be caught is a short period of time.”
Istanbul’s Governor Vasip Sahin said the attacker “rained bullets in a very cruel and merciless way on innocent people.” Most of them were on holiday.
The attack exerts more pressure on the Turkish government as security increasingly becomes a cause of concern due to growing number of fatal gun and bomb attacks. Ankara is fighting against the Kurds and the Islamic State and both have vowed to wage terror on the turksih society.