On Tuesday (28 June), three suspected Islamic State suicide bombers opened fire and subsequently blew themselves up in Istanbul’s main airport. Attaturk Airport is Europe’s third busiest and Turkey’s largest, a major transit hub for passengers across the world. The attacks claimed the lives of 41 people of multiple nationalities. Overall, 13 foreigners were killed – five Saudis, two Iraqis as well as nationals of China, Jordan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Ukraine. 239 were wounded and 109 of them have been already discharged from hospitals. 41 of the wounded are still under intensive care. Turkish media also informed that autopsy on the three bombers had been completed and that they might have been foreign nationals. The attackers came to the airport by taxi and preliminary findings pointed to Islamic State.
Turkey is part of the US-led coalition against Islamic State. President Tayyip Erdogan said that the bombings should serve as a turning point in the global fight against terrorism, which he said had “no regard for faith or values”. US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the attack in separate phone calls with Erdogan, his office informed. There has been a swift condemnation and words of solidarity from EU leaders as well. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said “I want to say to all of the Turkish people that we consider ourselves united with them in the fight against terror” while French President Francois Hollande reinforced the joint fight against terrorism, saying that “we must act, that’s what we are also doing in Europe and France, and coordinate further our security services and carry out as much as possible the necessary actions against terrorism and trafficking.”