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What Happened at the İstiklal Avenue

On Monday 13 November 2022 at around 16:20, an explosion took place at İstiklal Avenue in Taksim, Istanbul. The Turkish Government construes this event as terrorism against the Turkish population. With this bombing, 6 people lost their lives and 81 got injured, 2 of whom are wounded seriously. The İstiklal Street is one of the most active streets of Istanbul and is named “our spoilt daughter” by the Minister of Interior of the Turkish Republic Süleyman Soylu. 50 suspects were taken into custody for their possible connection with the bombing on İstiklal Street. One of these detainees was found guilty and identified as Ahlam Albashir. According to the declaration of Minister Soylu, we learned that the person who gave the order to “kill” was also arrested. According to the explanations from the government, Ahlam Albashir passed through the straits four months ago and has been working as a manufacturer since then. A Syrian national Ahlam Albashir was arrested inside her own house in Küçükçekmece, Kanarya Quarter, after 10,5 hours.

As we see in the camera recordings, the terrorist, who was identified as Ahlam Albashir, sat on a bank in the middle of İstiklal Avenue for 41 minutes, then she abandoned her backpack at the bank, and three minutes after her apart, the explosion happened. Authorities declared that the bag she abandoned was full of TNT and it was what caused the explosion. The Minister of Interior, Soylu, said that terrorists had been planning to escape Greece, but the police have prevented them. In his declaration in the broadcast, Soylu said:

“We as the Turkish government, do not accept the condolences of the US Embassy. Our relationship with a state which supports terror fields in Kobani, tries to break the peace in Türkiye and remits money from their senate to this ideology must be judged. […] The İstiklal Avenue is our spoilt daughter. Operations are continuing. Of course, the terrorists are arrested, if we hadn’t arrested them, today they were going to be smuggled to Greece. We are facing with an act of terror that we know how did coordinated and came alive. The ones who support PYD in there, who provides intelligence to PKK, they are perpetrators.”

After the declaration of Süleyman Soylu; the US. Embassy Türkiye Speaker who has been interviewed by T24 journal said:

“United States of America is accurately censuring all kinds of terror acts and is being cooperative with our precious NATO ally, Türkiye.”

As a general statement for the bombing, the Vice President of Türkiye, Fuat Oktay, said:

"Unfortunately, we are facing a disastrous event. I condole to all our citizens. As of now, we consider it to be a terrorist act that occurred at this intersection because of the detonation of a bomb by an attacker, whom we consider to be a woman, within the framework of the information obtained so far. […] We are determined both inside and beyond our borders to reach whoever is behind these events; even if they run away to the other end of the world, just like how we reached other terrorists, we’ll bring them to Türkiye immediately. […] Türkiye is a country that has achieved stability in terms of development and security. No one can give a message to Türkiye, which has a say in many events in its region and the world, or turn it away from its path with such events. […] We will continue upright under the leadership and presidency of our President. We will solve this case very soon. When we solve it, not only the shooters of this incident but also whoever is in front of these shooters, on their right or left, will be held accountable for this, both inside and outside."

After the declaration of Fuat Oktay, the Minister of Health of the Republic of Türkiye, Fahrettin Koca, declared that 58 people who got injured were discharged but 2 of them were still in critical condition.

Furthermore, Süleyman Soylu explained that behind the scenes of this bombing, there was the PKK/YPG terrorist organization. Istanbul Security Directorate said that they were assuming that the order came from one of the terrorist headquarters in Kobani, Syria.

According to the latest announcements, there were 6 people lost their lives due to the bombing. And their names are as follows:

  • Arzu Özsoy (38)

  • Yağmur Uçar (15)

  • Yusuf Meydan (34)

  • Ecrin Meydan (9)

  • Adem Topkara (40)

  • Mukaddes Elif (27)

Finally, The New York Times published an article about this bombing event in Istanbul and advertised it by publishing a tweet that got a lot of hate from the Turkish population. The tweet was: “Of the tens of millions of tourists from around the world who visit Turkey each year, many spend time in the area where Sunday’s bombing took place.”

After getting too much reaction; The New York Times changed the tweet to:

“Many of the millions of tourists who visit Turkey each year spend time in the area where Sunday’s bombing took place: Istanbul's iconic İstiklal Avenue, a pedestrian thoroughfare traversed by a tram and lined with vendors and historic buildings.”

With all these in mind, it can be said that Türkiye is devastated by this terrorist bombing act. When we take a closer look at the declarations, we can see that Türkiye is now out of patience for terror acts. The Turkish population is feeling threatened since 1984, the first terror act of the PKK. As we can see in the declaration of the Vice President, Türkiye is strong-willed to stop terror acts so that no one can drag our country into chaos. As citizens of the Turkish Republic, we are not going to live with these kinds of terror acts. Just like the founding leader of Türkiye and our first president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk once said, “The whole nation stands up as one body for one inch of the land of the Turkish homeland.”

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