Explosion hits Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue, killing 6 people

Six people died and 81 were injured as an explosion has hit Istanbul’s iconic Istiklal Avenue.

Duvar English

An explosion hit Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue at around 4.20 p.m. local time on Nov. 13, killing six people and injuring 81. Accordingly, two of them died in the hospital.

"Our nation should be sure that the perpetrators of the incident on Istiklal Avenue will be punished as they deserve," President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.

"It would be wrong if we say 'for sure this is terrorism,' but the first developments, the first information my governor conveyed to us, there is a smell of terror in the incident," Erdoğan further said.

Vice President Fuat Oktay later noted that they consider the bombing as an "act of terrorism."

"We consider it to be an act of terrorism that occurred as a result of a perpetrator, whom we consider to be a woman, detonating the bomb," Oktay said.

Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya first said in a tweet that “Today, at around 16.20, an explosion occurred in Taksim Istiklal Street in our Beyoğlu district. Our police, health, fire and AFAD teams were dispatched to the scene. There are casualties and injuries. Further developments will be shared with the public."

"Unfortunately, in the explosion that took place on Istiklal Street today, the number of dead increased to six and the number of injured to 53. We wish Allah's mercy on those who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to the injured. Further developments will be shared with the public," Yerlikaya later said.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said in a tweet: “It is essential to assist our Police and Health teams regarding the explosion on Istiklal Street, and to avoid posts that may cause fear and panic. All relevant teams are in the region, we will provide healthy information.”

Broadcasting live from the scene, Habertürk announced that the explosion occurred 200 meters ahead of the entrance of Istiklal Avenue. Due to the explosion the windows of many shops were broken. Many people who were on the street at the time of the explosion took shelter in the shops.

The police, on the other hand, closed the Avenue. In addition, the police warned those staying in the buildings where the explosion took place to stay inside, as there is an intelligence on a possible second explosion.

The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) imposed a broadcast ban on the explosion.

The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office launched a terror investigation into the deadly incident.

After the explosion, many social media users stated that they had problems accessing the internet, particularly Twitter.

The football match between Beşiktaş and Fraport TAV Antalyaspor, which was supposed to be played at Vodafone Park in Istanbul's Beşiktaş district at 8 p.m., has been postponed.