News has reached American soil, but many details are still unclear here in the city about a car bomb in Istanbul that has killed 11 so far and injured 36. An English language Turkish source has this to say about today’s terrorist attack. This is the 3rd attack in Istanbul this year. The first coming on January 12th in the historic Sultanahmet district, killing 10–all German and Peruvian tourists. The next on March 19th, killied 3 Israelis and 1 Iranian on Istiklal, the main shopping street. Not to mention, attempted attacks on police stations in poorer suburbs of the city that sporadically occur. In Ankara, the capital, there have been almost 60 killed this year. And, in the southeast there have been countless attacks, shootings and bombings between the military and Kurdish rebel groups.
Generally attacks have come from two groups this year, Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) and Kurdish Separatist groups (mainly, PKK or TAK). Both groups have had a particular M.O., at least in their Western Turkish attacks. Daesh has targeted civilians and popular tourist destinations, while the PKK and TAK attacks have mostly targeted police and military positions.
Today, a remotely detonated car bomb was triggered, seemingly to take out a police bus passing at that moment–where 7 seven officers have died as of publication. 4 civilian casualties and countless injuries blur the intentions of this attack, which took place on the outskirts of the old city and mere blocks from one the city’s largest and oldest universities, which so happened to have final exams starting today on the 2nd day of Ramadan.
Thankfully all my friends and family are safe and our lives continue to be as unaffected as they can given these almost desensitizing attacks. But, not everyone else is so lucky has been. The past few months have been relatively quiet compared to the end of 2015 and start of 2016. Let’s hope it stays that way.