Explosion In Istanbul That Killed 10 Believed To Be An Act Of Terror
At least 10 people are reportedly dead and 15 injured following a suicide bombing in Turkey earlier today.
Turkish officials believe a Syrian was responsible for the bombing, which struck Istanbul's historic, often-crowded district of Sultanahmet around 10:15 am on Tuesday.
Turkish nationals are said to have been killed and wounded as well.
No terror group claimed responsibility as of yet, but the Turkish prime minister said the bomber was linked to the Islamic State.
Security analyst Metin Gürcan reportedly said,
The choice of the location, the targeted nationalities, the way the attack was carried out and the government's immediate effort to stop the dissemination of any information all point to ISIS as the primary suspect.
In a televised speech, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan condemned foreign academics and writers like Noam Chomsky whose strong criticisms of the Turkish government he said aligns them with the terrorists.
Erdogan reportedly said,
Pick a side. You are either on the side of the Turkish government, or you're on the side of the terrorists.
The bombing occurred just steps from monuments that honor the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, all of which claimed Istanbul as their capital.
The attack comes about three months after a group of suicide bombers killed 100 people during a peace rally in Ankara, Turkey.
The Islamic State did not claim responsibility for that attack, but a suicide bomber who killed more than 30 people in Suruç, Turkey in July had ties to the militant group, The New York Times reports.
An attack that killed two at a rally in Diyarbakir in June was also attributed to the group.
But unlike Tuesday's bombing, the previous attacks appear to share the common goal of starting a civil war in Turkey. Esra Özyürek, a political anthropologist, told The New York Times,
In this [bombing], the target is unclear.