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January 17, 2017 / 19 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Istanbul’

Police Arrest 14 Suspects in Istanbul Nightclub Attack Investigation

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

Police in Istanbul on Tuesday arrested six suspects in connection with the New Year’s Eve nightclub attack that killed 39 people, a security official told Anadolu.

On Monday, eight people were arrested by Istanbul anti-terror police. An anonymous police source revealed that these first suspects are already “testifying.”

Police would not release the names of the 14 suspects, but according to Anadolu none of them is the actual lone gunman who carried out the attack at the Reina nightclub early Sunday morning.

Authorities have released security camera images of the suspected killer, who shot dead a police officer and civilian outside the club on the European shore of the Bosporus before entering and opening fire on the people inside.

David Israel

ISIS Claims Responsibility for New Year’s Eve Massacre at Istanbul Nightclub

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

The Islamic State (Da’esh / ISIS) terrorist organization claimed responsibility for the massacre that left 39 dead and 70 others wounded Saturday night during a New Year’s Eve celebration at the upscale Reina club in central Istanbul.

Among the dead was a young Israeli woman from the town of Tira, a U.S. citizen, a Turkish police officer and three Jordanian citizens.

The father of Leann Nasser said the attack ended what had been a happy trip for his daughter, and a worrisome time for him, having pleaded with her not to. He told the Israel Hayom news outlet, that from the start, he had been deeply concerned about the trip. “I had a gut feeling something would happen,” he said, “but she wouldn’t listen, and said she wanted to be with her friends and that everything would be okay. So we hoped for the best and prayed.

“Arab blood is no different than Jewish blood when it comes to terrorist attacks. This is a terrible tragedy for all of us, and we still can’t believe it happened,” he said.

Leann’s three friends, also residents of Tira, were at the club as well. One was shot and wounded; she’s in fair condition, and told her father that she heard the terrorist yell “Allahu Akbar!” (the jihadist war cry, ‘God is Great!’) while he was firing. Her two other friends are in severe shock. All three returned on Sunday to Israel.

Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin sent their condolences to the families of those who were injured and murdered, as well as to the Turkish people and government.

ISIS issued a statement one day after that attack via its Aamaq news agency, saying, “In continuation of the blessed operations that Islamic State is conducting against the servant of the cross, Turkey, a heroic soldier of the caliphate struck the most famous nightclub where Christians were celebrating their pagan feast.”

The terrorist managed to escape after shooting the police officer and a civilian outside the club, then spraying gunfire into the crowd within, before shedding an alleged Santa Claus costume and fleeing the premises. He is still at large.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Arab Woman among Istanbul Club Dead

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

The body of an 18-year-old woman, Lian Zaher Nasser, from the Israeli Arab village of Tira, was discovered in the Reina nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey, her family reported. A girlfriend, Rua Mansour, was wounded and two other young women, also from Tira, have suffered severe anxiety attacks.

At least 39 people were killed in the attack Saturday night, including 16 foreign nationals, and 69 injured, when an assailant believed to have been dressed in a Santa Claus costume opened fire at the crowded Reina nightclub during New Year’s celebrations.

Rua Mansour’s father, Sofian Mansour, told Haaretz that his daughter, 18 and a half, on Friday traveled with her three girlfriends to Istanbul, on a one-week vacation they had been planning for some time. Mansour said at 9:30 PM Saturday he had spoken to his daughter over the phone and she told him they were waiting for a taxi to take them to the club. After the attack, “I tried to call her but there was no answer,” he related. “We knew that the attack took place in the same club and we were all anxious, we didn’t know what to do. Only at six in the morning Rua picked up the phone and said she had been shot in her lower body, underwent surgery and is now in stable condition in the hospital.”

The other two women, Ala Tarek Abed Alkhi, 27, a dentist, and Iya Akhsan Abed Alkhi, 26, were declared as suffering anxiety attacks and evacuated to a nearby police station. Ala told Haaretz in a phone conversation from the police station: “Shooting started from every direction and I saw dead people killed and wounded people dropping next to me. I hid in a corner and didn’t know what to do. Everybody was screaming and crying and the shooting didn’t stop. It felt like an eternity.”

The families and Israel’s foreign ministry are in touch with Turkish authorities and Israel’s Consul General in Istanbul Shai Cohen are working on bringing the women home.

David Israel

Dozens Killed in Terror Attack on Famed Istanbul Nightclub

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

The Ortaköy district in Istanbul and surrounds are on lockdown as Turkish police carry out a manhunt to track down at least one, and possibly two killers who may still be dressed as Santa Claus.

Despite 17,000 Turkish police officers having been deployed across Istanbul this weekend to guard against terrorism during New Year’s celebrations, one of the most famous nightclubs in the heart of the city was attacked at about 01:30 am Sunday, on the secular New Year’s Eve.

At least 35 people were killed, including a police officer, and some 40 others wounded as two attackers armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles opened fire in the famous Reina Club nightclub in the Ortaköy district.

Some 800 people were reported to be inside the club in ‘Istanbul by the Bosphorus’ at the time of the attack. The Reina is an international venue frequented by high-society celebrities, artists and football stars, according to Turkish media.

The two terrorists were said to be speaking Arabic, according to reports in European media.

Some of the more than 500 celebrants in the club jumped in the water to escape the gunfire and were being rescued by police, according to eyewitnesses quoted by the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News. Istanbul governor Vasip Şahin quickly arrived to the scene.

“The U.S. intelligence warned over such an attack about one week or 10 days ago and measures have been taken, including [at] the sea front,” a witness said, but added that although the warning was taken seriously, security measures had still be unable to prevent the attack.

Less than two weeks ago, Russian envoy to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was assassinated by an off-duty Turkish police officer, Mevlut Mert Altintas, while speaking at the opening of an art exhibition at a gallery in Ankara. The killer proclaimed he acted in revenge for Russian actions in Syria.

The Turkish Daily Sabah news outlet quoted Governor Sahin as saying early Sunday that one of the assailants was dressed in a Santa Claus outfit when he opened fire in the nightclub, after first shooting police outside.

Turkish NTV television news broadcasts showed between 50 to 60 ambulances and police vehicles converging on the scene.

At least one of the attackers was reported to still be inside the club, and police special forces were said to be preparing to enter the building.

Police are also on high alert in other major Turkish cities that were targeted by terror attacks in 2016, including the capital city of Ankara.

All told, more than 180 people in Turkey have died this year as a result of radical Islamist terror attacks by the Islamic State (Da’esh or ISIS) terrorist organization, and PKK Kurdistan Workers’ Party terrorist group.

Hana Levi Julian

Jewish Woman Murdered in Turkey

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

A Turkish Jewish woman who was married to a non-Jewish Turkish man lost her life after she was run over by a man in Istanbul.

The woman was well known as a successful author, according to the Turkish-language edition of the Daily Hurriyet.

The circumstances of her death are not clear, according to the report, which said that local police have opened an investigation into the murder.

Hana Levi Julian

Death Toll Rises in Istanbul Bombings

Monday, December 12th, 2016

The death toll has risen in the aftermath of twin bombings in the heart of Istanbul Saturday night.

The two explosions were both deemed to be suicide bombings, with responsibility for the blasts claimed by a Kurdish terrorist group called the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons.

The group is an offshoot of the PKK, also known as the Kurdistan Workers Party terrorist organization.

At least 44 people lost their lives in the attack, with another 154 people injured as well. At least 30 of the dead were police officers, according to Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

A national day of mourning was declared on Sunday by the government. Top officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, attended funeral services at the Istanbul Police Headquarters. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim blamed the PKK for the bombings.

Hana Levi Julian

29 killed in Istanbul Double Bombing – 27 Police

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

UPDATE: Turkish security forces arrested ten suspects in Saturday night’s attack (Dec. 10) where 29 were killed, including 27 police officers; 166 more were injured in the blasts. There are unconfirmed reports from Turkey indicating that the PKK Kurdistan Workers’ Party terrorist organization may have been responsible for the attack, although there have been no claims from any group.

Two huge explosions — a suicide bomber and a car bomb — detonated near the newly-built Vodafone Arena in the Beşiktaş district of central Istanbul, Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said in a statement.

Soylu confirmed that one of the two bombings attacks were carried out in Maçka Park, the other on Beleştepe Street, next to the park. One was later confirmed to have been a car bomb, “at a point where Bursaspor fans exited, after the fans had left,” he said.

He added that the other was a suicide bombing. Most of the injured were police officers, according to the Daily Sabah.

At least 13 people were killed in the blast, according to a report by the UK-based BBC. The death toll is not being reported by Turkish media. There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack thus far, according to Al Jazeera.

Israel’s Ambassador to Turkey, Eitan Na’eh, immediately condemned the attack in a tweet, wishing a speedy recovery to the wounded.

The explosions took place following a soccer match between Besiktas and the Bursaspor professional Turkish football (soccer) clubs.

Six prosecutors were assigned to the investigation according to the report, which added that Turkey’s media watchdog, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), has slapped a gag order on reporting the attack.

The U.S. Embassy condemned the attack in a tweet, as did the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul that urged citizens to avoid the area, “monitor local press reporting and let friends and family know you are OK.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/twin-terror-bombing-at-istanbuls-vodafone-stadium/2016/12/11/

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