Turkey’s tourism, particularly in Istanbul is suffering blow after blow. As of today several cruise lines have pulled their ships out of the area and relocated to Greece for spring and summer itineraries because of security threats following terrorist recent attacks. Passenger safety was cited as major reason for the relocation. Today, Jan. 30, a suicide bomber added to the nation’s stress. According to eturbonews, a witness spotted a suspicious man wearing a suicide vest near the Ritz Carlton and alerted police who then shot the man in the leg causing the bomb inside the vest to explode. The incident confirmed two loud explosions heard by eTN publisher Juergen Steinmetz who is staying at the Ritz Carlton.
Eturbonews reported that the situation unfolded about 20 to 30 minutes earlier when police sealed off roads between the Ritz Carlton Hotel and the stadium close to Dolmabahçe Palace. A terror-related activity was in progress in Istanbul across from the Stadium and the Ritz Carlton Hotel.
Additional sources told eTN that the police shot a suspected suicide bomber. Local news sources now report a suspected suicide bomber carrying a ‘suspicious’ backpack has been shot by police in Beşiktaş near the Vodafone Arena. There have been several postings on Twitter about an ongoing terror attack. Cars and a bus had been seen reversing and speeding backwards. All roads leading to the scene have been cordoned off.
So far about five cruise lines have announced that they are dropping Turkey from their seasonal itineraries and with this latest incident more may join the wave. It’s a shame because Istanbul is truly one of the most amazing cities in the world with its Blue Mosque and many other attractions.