Bombing in Istanbul



Memorial point after the 2022 Istanbul attack

Lara Elbedour

On November 13, 2022, the heart and busiest street of Turkey was bombed by a Syrian national who was trained by Kurdish militants to carry out this deadly bomb that killed 6 people and injured a dozen others.

The deadly bombing on Isitikal Avenue, a popular street in Istanbul packed with pedestrians, shops, and restaurants, resulted in a tragic event as Trinitrotoluene (TNT) explosives detonated in the busy streets, resulting in many tragic losses.On Monday, Istanbul police identified the suspect responsible for the bombing, Ahlam Albashir, a Syrian citizen. The authorities later detained the woman. The Istanbul police department used the videos from 1,200 security cameras to detain the woman, along with the other 46 suspects in the bombing who were also detained.

The suspect is seen to have allegedly left the scene in a taxi after leaving explosives on the crowded avenue, police said. Additionally, the suspect, who was identified as a Syrian national, is seen as having ties to Kurdish groups. Police say Turkey has had a conflict with Kurdish separatist groups as the PKK (the Kurdistan Workers’ Party) seeks an independent state in Turkey and has been considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, which was the motive in the deadly bombing. Many locals and politicians in Istanbul were outraged by the attack on the busy street of Istiklal. Soylu, a Turkish politician, blamed the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) for Sunday’s blast on Istiklal Avenue, Istanbul’s heart, saying: “Our assessment is that the order for the deadly terror attack came from Ain al-Arab [Kobane] in northern Syria,” where the group has its Syrian headquarters.

The bombing shocked many as it was very unexpected, especially on a famous tourist street in Istanbul, which resulted in chaos as people scrambled and screamed in horror as they were running away trying to get off the street. “People were scattering immediately,” said Keblaoui, a Lebanese-based journalist who was on his last day of vacation in the city. “Very shortly after, I could see how many injured were on the ground,” Keblaoui told CNN. He says he saw dead bodies and victims who were seriously injured. Unfortunately, the bombing killed six people and left dozens injured. Turkish police say the suspect crossed the Syrian border near Afrin, where she then entered Turkey illegally. However, the Kurdish Workers Party denied involvement in a statement, saying it did not target civilians.

Furious at the attack and the deaths of innocent civilians, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was attempting to gain international support for his plans to launch a new incursion into northern Syria sometime next year during their elections to compensate for the damage. Aside from planning counter-attacks on Northern Syria, numerous politicians and higher-ups expressed their remorse and sadness with Turkey, like NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, who tweeted his “deepest condolences” to the Turkish people, while French President Emmanuel Macron said, “To the Turks: We share your pain.” “We stand with you in the fight against terrorism.”