There was yet another senseless, bloody attack today, March 19, on one of Istanbul’s most famous avenues that left four people dead and 36 injured. It happened on İstiklal Avenue or Istiklal Street, one of the most famous boulevards in the city which is visited by nearly millions of people in a single day or on weekends. People were caught on video screeching in fear and racing away from the scene.The cause of the carnage was a suicide bomber who set off an explosion that killed Israeli citizens Simha Siman Demri, Yonathan Suher and Avraham Godman and li Rıza Khalman who is Iranian, according to eturbonews. “People didn’t know what was going on. It was very chaotic. Everyone was screaming and running away,” a witness had told British BBC. Eleven Israelis were among the injured. Two Irish citizens, one national each from Germany, Iceland, Dubai and Iran were also wounded. Istanbul has suffered so many of these tragic events that most cruise lines have pulled the capital from summer itineraries for 2016 and substituted Greece. The country is now undergoing a serious lapse in tourism as travelers cancel plans to go there because they are afraid. Travel alerts from United States Government has also fueled fears, the latest, which was issued two days ago on March 17, strongly advised Americans to avoid the area, or if they do go there to use extreme caution and diligence. The US Government travel warning, which replaces on issued on Feb. 29, 2016 reads:
Recent terrorist attacks from international and indigenous groups have targeted popular tourist sites, U.S. government buildings, police, and other local authorities throughout Turkey. The threat of kidnapping remains a concern, especially in the southeast. There have been incidents of cross-border shelling from Syria into Turkey. For your safety:
· Avoid travel to southeastern Turkey, particularly near the Syrian border.
· Stay away from large crowds, including at popular tourist destinations.
· Exercise heightened vigilance and caution when visiting public access areas, especially those heavily frequented by tourists.
· Stay away from political gatherings and rallies.
· Follow the instructions of local authorities in an emergency.
· Monitor local media.
Travel restrictions remain in place for U.S. government employees to southeastern Turkey for the provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Sirnak, Diyarbakir, Van, Siirt, Mus, Mardin, Batman, Bingol, Tunceli, Hakkari, Bitlis, and Elazig. Additionally, the following neighborhoods in Adana:
According to Reuters evidence of today’s terrorist attack in Istanbul suggests that the suicide bomber may have come from Islamic State or the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The Turkish government has blamed Kurdish militants for previous attacks and has retaliated against them.