J Street mourns the four victims of a horrible terrorist attack in Istanbul on Saturday who included three Israelis, two of whom also held US citizenship, as well as an Iranian national. We send condolences to their loved ones and wishes for a speedy recovery to the 39 people injured in the explosion.
The attacker has been identified as a Turkish national who detonated the bomb in the middle of Istiklal Caddesi—Freedom Avenue—Istanbul’s busiest pedestrian thoroughfare. The Turkish government believes he was a member of ISIS. Saturday’s attack was the fourth suicide bombing in Turkey this year. Six days earlier, another shocking suicide bombing by Kurdish nationalists killed 35 people in Ankara. Our hearts go out to the Turkish people and we fervently hope for a full recovery to the many scores of wounded who are battling for their lives in hospitals.
There have been conflicting reports about whether the Israelis murdered in Saturday’s attacks were targeted because of their nationality. Some Turkish media have reported that the bomber tailed the Israeli tour group from their hotel before carrying out the attack.
Whether this was the case or not, this tragic event illustrates once again that terrorism remains a potent threat in the Middle East and elsewhere. All civilized nations should band together to fight this scourge and should reaffirm their determination to manage their bilateral and multilateral relations and settle their own disputes peacefully.