Policemen patrol at the historic Sultanahmet district after Tuesday’s deadly explosion in Istanbul. Emrah Gurel / AP

Turkish officials have identified the attacker as a Syrian.

What we know so far about the explosion in Istanbul:

—At least 10 people are dead and 15 wounded, the Istanbul governor’s office said in a statement on its website. Turkish news reports quoted the prime minister as telling German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the victims were mostly German.

—The blast occurred in the historic Sultanahmet district, which is home to the Blue Mosque and is popular with tourists.

—President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber of “Syrian origin.” The deputy prime minister said the bomber was born in 1988.


A Syrian born in 1988 carried out Tuesday’s attack that killed 10 people and wounded 15 others in Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet district, Turkish officials say.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in televised remarks, identified the attacker as a suicide bomber of “Syrian origin.” Numan Kurtulmuş, the deputy prime minister, said the bomber was born in 1988, adding most of the victims were foreigners. An exact breakdown was not immediately available, but Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish prime minister, telephoned Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, to tell her most of the victims were German.

The Istanbul governor’s office, on its website, said the blast killed 10 people and wounded 15 others. Six Germans, a Norwegian, and a Peruvian were among the injured, the office said.

A spokeswoman for Norway’s Foreign Ministry told Reuters a Norwegian citizen was being treated in hospital for light, non-life-threatening injuries. The German Foreign Ministry, in a statement on its website, urged its citizens to be careful in Turkey, citing more political tensions, violent conflicts, and terrorist attacks.

Sultanahmet, home to the historic Blue Mosque, is popular with tourists. CNN Turk reported that the attacker struck near the Obelisk of Theodosius, which dates to the 4th century.

Although no one has claimed responsibility yet for the blast, Turkey has a seen a string of recent attacks that have killed dozens. The government is battling far-left groups, as well as militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). It has also been fighting the Islamic State group, which is believed to have struck in Ankara, the capital, last October killing more than 100 people, and last July near the border with Syria, where more than 30 people were killed.

Turkey, which borders Syria, supports rebel groups fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who was an ally of Erdogan until before the Syrian civil war began nearly five years ago. But Ankara is also opposed to ISIS, as the Islamic State is also known, and is part of the U.S.-led coalition that is fighting the group.

The Syrian civil war has spawned a massive humanitarian disaster and created 4.6 million refugees, of whom 2.5 million live in Turkey, according to UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency.

This is a developing story and will be updated as we learn more.

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    We'll Need To Reopen Our Cities. But Not Without Making Changes First.

    We must prepare for a protracted battle with coronavirus. But there are changes we can make now to prepare locked-down cities for what’s next.

  2. photo: South Korean soldiers attempt to disinfect the sidewalks of Seoul's Gagnam district in response to the spread of COVID-19.
    Coronavirus

    Pandemics Are Also an Urban Planning Problem

    Will COVID-19 change how cities are designed? Michele Acuto of the Connected Cities Lab talks about density, urbanization and pandemic preparation.  

  3. photo: a For Rent sign in a window in San Francisco.
    Coronavirus

    Do Landlords Deserve a Coronavirus Bailout, Too?

    Some renters and homeowners are getting financial assistance during the economic disruption from the coronavirus pandemic. What about landlords?

  4. photo: a bicycle rider wearing a mask in London
    Coronavirus

    In a Global Health Emergency, the Bicycle Shines

    As the coronavirus crisis forces changes in transportation, some cities are building bike lanes and protecting cycling shops. Here’s why that makes sense.

  5. An African healthcare worker takes her time washing her hands due to a virus outbreak/.
    Coronavirus

    Why You Should Stop Joking That Black People Are Immune to Coronavirus

    There’s a fatal history behind the claim that African Americans are more resistant to diseases like Covid-19 or yellow fever.

×