At least ten people were killed and 15 others were injured Tuesday after an explosion in a historic district of Istanbul popular with tourists, with one local news agency reporting six Germans were among the wounded.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in televised remarks that a Syria-linked suicide bomber was believed to be behind the blast in the Sultanahmet area of the city and that Turks and foreigners were among the dead. A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of government rules, told the Associated Press the explosion was believed to be “terror-linked”.
Omer Celik, the spokesman for Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s ruling party issued a statement condemning what he called “a heinous attack.” Davutoglu convened a security meeting immediately following the explosion with the country’s interior minister and other officials.
Turkey’s Dogan news agency reported that at least six Germans, one Norwegian and one Peruvian were among the wounded, and Seoul’s Foreign Ministry told reporters via text message that one South Korean had a finger injury.
Germany warned its citizens to avoid crowds outside tourist attractions in Istanbul, saying on a government website that further violent clashes and “terrorist attacks” are expected across Turkey. It also urged travelers to stay away from demonstrations and gatherings, particularly in large cities.
As with previous attacks, authorities imposed a news blackout, barring media from showing images of the dead or injured or reporting any details of the investigation.