Some 38 people were killed and another 136 were wounded on Dec. 10 when a double bombing hit central Istanbul near Beşiktaş’s Vodafone Arena Stadium.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said seven civilians are among the dead, while 30 others are police officers and one of the victims has yet to be identified.

Thirteen suspects have been detained in connection to the attack, Soylu added.

Health Minister Recep Akdağ said 14 of the wounded are in intensive care.


One of the civilian victims of the attack was a 21-year-old student, whose family sought him on social media after failing to reach him in the aftermath of the blasts.

“My son was at the scene of the blast. I can’t get a hold of him,” Berkay Akbaş’s mother tweeted after the attack.

Akbaş reportedly arrived in Istanbul to travel for a week with his friends. He was heavily wounded and taken to a hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.

The first explosion came from a moving car that directly targeted riot police near the stadium, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said in a press conference early on Dec. 11.

The second attack came 45 seconds after the first one when a suicide bomber detonated explosives at Maçka Park just across from the stadium, Kurtulmuş said.

Beşiktas has announced that one of the civilians killed was a staff member at the Beşiktaş store while the other was a congress member and a police officer.

The huge blasts occurred at around 10:20 p.m., around 90 minutes after a match between Beşiktaş and Bursaspor ended at the nearby ground. It was heard on both sides of the Bosphorus.

Following the attack, Bursaspor stated on its official Twitter account that there were no injuries among its supporters.

Beşiktaş also condemned the attack in a statement issued on its website, as did the Turkish Football Federation (TFF), Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Trabzonspor.

A number of ambulances were immediately dispatched to the scene as eyewitnesses reported the sound of gunfire after the explosions, although the lack of hospitals in the Taksim area meant most of the wounded had to be taken to Şişli Etfal Hospital or other medical centers in the area.

Security forces later detonated a suspicious car near the scene in a controlled explosion early on Dec. 11, Doğan News Agency reported.

The prime minister was immediately briefed about the attack by Soylu and Istanbul Gov. Vasip Şahin.

Presidential sources also said Erdoğan was at Tarabya Palace by the Bosphorus in Istanbul and that he was also briefed by officials.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s media watchdog, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), announced a gag order on reporting the attack.

A total of six prosecutors were assigned to investigate the attack.

In addition, the U.S. Embassy to Turkey also condemned the attack, showing solidarity with the country against terror.

“We condemn tonight’s cowardly attack, and salute the courage of the Turkish people as we stand with them against terror,” the embassy tweeted.

The U.S. Consulate in Istanbul also stated that it was monitoring the attack, urging its citizens to avoid the area.

“Please avoid the area, monitor local press reporting, and let friends and family know you are OK,” the consulate said in a tweet.

The attack also drew condemnation from EU officials.

“Following news from #Istanbul, in contact with authorities. All our solidarity to all citizens of #Turkey,” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini tweeted.

“Strongly condemn attack in #Istanbul! Violence has no place in a democratic society. @EUDelegationTur,” Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn tweeted.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also condemned the attack.

“I condemn the horrific acts of terror in #Istanbul. My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones and our Ally Turkey,” he tweeted.

In addition, British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson condemned the attack on his Twitter account.

“Condemn attack in #Istanbul. My thoughts are with all those affected. UK committed to working with #Turkey to tackle terrorism,” Johnson said.

UPDATE: According to a statement published on the group’s website, TAK, or the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, have claimed responsibility for the deadly attack in Istanbul. The statement called the attack an “act of vengeance.” The Kurdistan Freedom Fighters is an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Turkey considers both groups to be terrorist organizations. On Saturday night, two bombs exploded at a short interval near the Vodafone Arena Stadium killing 38 and injuring 155 people.

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