A mass shooting occurred at a nightclub in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey, on 1 January 2017. The attack occurred at about 01:15 FET (UTC+3) at the Reina nightclub in Ortaköy, where hundreds of people were celebrating the New Year. At least 39 people were killed and at least 70 were injured in the incident. The suspected gunman, Abdulgadir Masharipov, was arrested on January 17, 2017.
Since the summer of 2016, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been under pressure with notable territorial losses due to three parallel offensives: the Turkish-FSA Western al-Bab offensive and Battle of al-Bab, the Kurdish Northern Raqqa offensive, and the Iraqi Battle of Mosul in Iraq. The Turkish military intervention in Syria has been the first frontal opposition between ISIL and the Turkish army, heating up tensions.
Before the incident, there were heightened security measures in the city, with 17,000 police officers on duty, following several terrorist attacks in the area, such as the attack on the Istanbul Atatürk Airport on 28 June 2016 which killed 48 people, and a bombing at the Vodafone Arena on 10 December 2016 which killed 46.
According to Reina's owner, security measures at the nightclub had been increased over the previous ten days after American intelligence officials warned about an attack over the holidays. The US embassy later denied that it had prior intelligence, dismissing such claims as "rumours on social media".
Location of the shooting in Istanbul, Turkey
A gunman opened fire in the nightclub at about 01:15. He reportedly carried an AK-47 rifle and, after killing a police officer and a bystander at the entrance, he entered the club shooting. The attacker reportedly spoke Arabic as the attack was taking place, and shouted the Arabic phrase "Allāhu akbar" during the attack. He reportedly fired more than 180 rounds during the seven-minute attack, and used stun grenades to aid in reloading. After the assault, he went into the kitchen, changed his clothes, and escaped by blending in with the crowd.
Although initial eyewitness testimonies reported by the Turkish media described up to three attackers, the police insist that they are only on the lookout for one. Police stormed the building, but Turkish authorities state that the attacker is still at large, with a manhunt underway. Authorities had earlier claimed that one gunman entered the nightclub and was later killed by the police. The attacker left the weapon at the scene.
At the time of the attack, about 600 people were at the nightclub to celebrate the New Year. Thirty-nine people were killed, including the police officer on duty at the club entrance. At least 70 others were injured. A number of people jumped into the waters of the Bosphorus strait to escape the attack. In the aftermath, police set up a cordon around the nightclub.
Istanbul's governor Vasip Şahin said the incident was a terrorist attack. The Turkish government ordered a temporary media blackout, citing concerns over security and public order.
In response to the attack, the Turkish military carried out attacks against ISIL targets in the Syrian town of al-Bab. 22 people are claimed to have been killed in the raids.
According to Habertürk, Uyghur workers at a restaurant in Zeytinburnu provided money to the terrorist for his taxi fare; the owner has denied this, saying there was no evidence beyond a single cab driver's claim. Seven of the workers were arrested by Turkish police. Zeytinburnu became the site of over 50 police sweeps against "East Turkistanis" (Uyghurs), Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and Uzbeks. Multiple Uyghurs were seized and detained outside of Istanbul in Selimpaşa by Turkey after they were linked to the assault on the nightclub. Kyrgyz passports were used to go to Turkey by Uyghurs with both ISIS and Al-Qaeda being joined in Syria by Uyghurs. Up to 36 have been detained so far, including a number of Uyghurs. It has been alleged that Kyrgyzstan passports were used by several families allegedly from East Turkestan with 20 children, and 22 women and men, all of whom were among 40 arrested by Turkish security forces in İzmir's Bornova and Buca districts. Weapons were found with the İzmir suspects. Syrians, Uighurs, and Dagestanis were arrested in Izmir.
On 8 January, Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said that they found and identified the attacker.
ISIL officially claimed responsibility and released a statement claiming the attacker was a soldier of ISIL who had "struck one of the most famous nightclubs where the Christians celebrate their apostate holiday". ISIL also took the unusual step of claiming responsibility directly, saying in a statement that the attack was carried out "in continuation of the blessed operations that the Islamic State is conducting against Turkey, the protector of the cross", and accused Turkey of killing Muslims via "air strikes and mortar attacks" in Syria. The statement does not specify whether the attack was directly organized by ISIL, or whether the group had simply inspired the gunman.
Security sources told Reuters that the gunman "has experience in combat" and that "he could have been fighting in Syria for years" on behalf of ISIL. Hürriyet Daily News noted that a number of specialists who examined the footage claimed that the gunman was professionally trained on how to use his weapon, with anti-terrorism expert Abdullah Ağar saying that "The attacker is determined, faithful, practical, coldblooded, expert and knows how to get results. He probably fired these bullets before in real clash zones. He had no hesitation in shooting at innocent people. He is absolutely a killer and he most probably shot at humans before." Veysi Kaynak said he was a "specially trained member of a (terrorist) cell".
Habertürk claimed that Turkish police investigations showed that the gunman entered Turkey from Syria in November 2016, and went to Konya with his wife and two children.
On 2 January, Turkish police arrested eight people in connection with the attack; the gunman was not among them. Police said they believed the attack was carried out by the same ISIL cell that targeted Atatürk Airport in June 2016.
On 4 January, Turkish news agency Anadolu had announced that a belt for ammunition, night vision orientated equipment and a telescopic sight were identified and confiscated in police raids. Fake passports, cell phones and a GPS device were also found.
On 13 January, two ethnic Uyghur Chinese citizens were arrested for possibly having links to the attacker.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey has said that there is a possibility an intelligence organization was involved and that it was an organised professional attack.
A day after the attack occurred, Turkish media stated that Turkish authorities believe the attacker is from Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan. Initial reports had suggested that he was from the Xinjiang region of China.
On 3 January, it was alleged that the man accused of the attack was from Kyrgyzstan. That same day, Turkish media released a self-shot video of the alleged gunman at Taksim Square, Istanbul. The video was taken by a pro-ISIL Telegram account according to Flashpoint, a business risk intelligence company from the United States.
Sixteen people have been held under suspicion in connection to the attack. On 4 January, it was revealed that they live in the Bornova and Buca districts of İzmir, and eleven are women.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated on 4 January that the gunman had been identified. According to Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak he most likely belonged to the Turkic Uyghur-speaking ethnic group.
On 9 January 2017, Turkish police identified the suspected gunman as an Uzbek national named Abdulkadir Masharipov, who also goes by the name Abu Muhammed Horasani. Masharipov was seen in the Kirazlı-Bağcılar rapid transit station, which suspended services for some time as a search for the gunman was undertaken.
Masharipov was arrested on 16 January at a Kyrgyz friend's apartment in the Esenyurt district of Istanbul. Firearms, ammunition, two drones and about $200,000 were found in the apartment.
Masharipov was 34 years old at the time of the attack and is believed to have been trained as a militant in Afghanistan and Pakistan before illegally entering Turkey through the Iranian border in January 2016. Masharipov is also believed to have trained with Al Qaeda in Iraq, the group that morphed into ISIL, and had spent most of his time in Turkey in the city of Konya before arriving in Istanbul on December 16, 2016. In an interview with police, Masharipov stated he was initially directed by ISIL to stage an attack at Taksim Square, but dropped the plan after conducting surveillance of the area and concluding there was too much security. Afterwards, Masharipov passed the Reina and decided it would be a good target to attack due to a lack of security.
Among the victims were people from 14 countries, including Bollywood film producer Abis Rizvi, producer of the film Roar: Tigers of the Sundarbans.
Vasip Şahin, the governor of Istanbul, described the attack as a "violent and cruel act of terror" and said that the attacker had used a "long-range weapon" to "brutally and savagely" fire on people, referring to a type of assault rifle.
The President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan condemned the attack and offered condolences on behalf of those who lost their lives, including victims from other countries.
Many world leaders and officials condemned the attack, offering condolences.
Some Turkish citizens, journalists, and pro-APK journals such as Sabah put forward conspiracy theories, claiming that agencies from Western countries, such as the CIA, as organizing the attack. The over-simplification and gluing together of the current three distinct Turkish crises — the 2016 coup, the Kurdish clashes, and the open military conflict with ISIS — was pointed out by journalists, with Tim Arango of The New York Times writing:
"All of this is a reflection, many critics say, of what they call the paranoia and authoritarianism of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose leadership has so deeply divided the country that, instead of unifying to confront terrorism, Turkish society is fracturing further with each attack. The West, symbolized by the United States, is the perennial bogeyman."
- ^ Bilginsoy, Zeynep. "2 reported dead in New Year's attack on Istanbul nightclub". AP News. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ a b "Istanbul Reina nightclub attack 'leaves 39 dead'". BBC News. 1 January 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ a b Arango, Tim (1 January 2017). "Terrorist Attack at Istanbul Nightclub Kills Dozens". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ "US denies having intelligence on Istanbul club attack". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ "Manhunt on for Istanbul nightclub shooter". Fox News Channel. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ "35 killed in armed attack at Istanbul nightclub". Anadolu Agency. Archived from the original on 2 January 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
- ^ "Son Dakika: Ünlü gece kulübüne silahlı saldırı". Hürriyet Daily News. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
- ^ "One attacker still inside Istanbul nightclub: CNN Turk". Reuters. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ "Gece Kulübü Reina'ya Terör Saldırısı Vali Şahin: 1 Polis Şehit, 35 Sivil Hayatını Kaybetti" [Terrorist Attack on Night Club Reina! 39 People Lose Their Life, 69 Injured] (in Turkish). sondakika.com. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ "Uusi vuosi alkoi verilöylyllä Turkissa – lue yhteenveto tuhoisasta yökerhoiskusta" [The new year began with a massacre in Turkey - read a summary of the devastating attack on a nightclub]. Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 1 January 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ a b "Police hunt lone Istanbul gunman who is on the run". News Corp Australia. 2 January 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- ^ Debets, Christoph (1 January 2017). "Anschlag in Istanbul: Killer schrie "Allahu Akbar"" [Attack in Instanbul: Killer shouts "Allahu Akbar"]. Euronews (in German).
- ^ a b "Istanbul nightclub attacker is ethnic Uighur, officials believe". The Guardian. Reuters. 5 January 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
- ^ "Turkish authorities close to identifying Istanbul gunman". Fox News Channel. 2 January 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- ^ a b Smith, Hannah Lucinda (1 January 2017). "Hunt for gunman after nightclub massacre". The Sunday Times. (subscription required (help)).
- ^ a b Shaheen, Kareem (1 January 2017). "Turkey nightclub shooting: Istanbul on alert after armed gunman kills dozens". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ a b Russell, Graham (1 January 2017). "Istanbul nightclub attack: 16 foreigners among 39 killed, says minister – live updates". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ "İstanbul'da Reina gece kulübünde silahlı saldırı: 2 ölü, çok sayıda yaralı var" [Armed attack on Reina nightclub in Istanbul: 2 dead, many injured]. Cumhuriyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ Cunningham, Erin; Fahim, Kareem (1 January 2017). "Authorities search for a shooter after New Year's massacre at Istanbul nightclub". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ "İstanbul'da gece kulübünde silahlı saldırı" [Armed attack on the nightclub in Istanbul]. Habertürk (in Turkish). Retrieved 31 December 2016.
- ^ Graham, Chris (31 December 2016). "Istanbul nightclub attack: Search continues for unidentified terrorist gunman who killed 39 at New Year's Eve party". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- ^ "At least 35 shot dead in Istanbul 'terror attack'". Euronews. 1 January 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ a b Walker, Peter (2 January 2017). "Isis claim responsibility for Istanbul nightclub attack". The Independent. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- ^ Stojanovic, Dusan; Fraser, Suzan (4 January 2017). "Istanbul on Alert as Hunt for Gunman Reaches 4th Day". ABC News. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
- ^ "Turkish nightclub attacker probably ethnic Uighur, says deputy PM". Reuters. 5 January 2017.
- ^ "Turkey nightclub attack: Police 'detain several Uighurs' in raids". BBC News. 5 January 2017.
- ^ "Turkey car bomb and gun attack on courthouse in İzmir". BBC News. 5 January 2017.
- ^ "Reina operasyonu" [Reina operation] (in Turkish). Habertürk TV. 4 January 2017.
- ^ Masters, James; Lee, Ian; Hanna, Jason (4 January 2017). "Gunman identified in Istanbul nightclub attack, Turkish authorities say". CNN.
- ^ Stojanovic, Dusan (4 January 2017). "Turkey identifies gunman in Istanbul nightclub shooting". Associated Press. ISTANBUL.
- ^ a b c Durando, Jessica (5 January 2017). "Turkey 'closing in' on Istanbul nightclub gunman, official says". USA Today. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- ^ "Istanbul attack: ISIS claims nightclub shooting". CNN. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ "Istanbul: ISIL claims responsibility for Reina attack". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ a b "ISIS Claims Responsibility for Istanbul Nightclub Attack". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ Smith, Hannah Lucinda (2 January 2016). "Isis claims responsibility for nightclub attack". The Times. Retrieved 3 January 2017. (subscription required (help)).
- ^ a b Pamuk, Humera; Butler, Daren (3 January 2017). "Gunman in Istanbul nightclub attack may have trained in Syria". Reuters Africa.
- ^ a b "Reina attacker looks 'professional': Experts". Hürriyet Daily News. 3 January 2017.
- ^ "New image of suspected Istanbul gunman released as Isil claim nightclub attack". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- ^ a b c Masters, James; Lee, Ian; Hanna, Jason. "Turkey: Gunman identified in nightclub attack". CNN. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
- ^ "Turkish court arrests two Uighurs in relation to Istanbul nightclub attack". Reuters. 2017-01-13. Retrieved 2017-01-13.
- ^ "Istanbul nightclub attack linked to intelligence organisation, Turkey's deputy PM says". The Independent. 2017-01-16. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
- ^ Stojanovic, Dusan. "IS claims New Year's attack on Istanbul nightclub". Yahoo. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- ^ "Istanbul Nightclub Attacker Might Be from Central Asia". Novinite. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- ^ "Strage Istanbul, cade la pista cinese. Media: "Identificato attentatore, è Iakhe Mashrapov"". la Repubblica (in Italian). 3 January 2017. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- ^ "Istanbul New Year's attack: Turkish media broadcasts selfie video filmed by alleged gunman". Haaretz. 3 January 2017.
- ^ "Istanbul nightclub gunman identified, says Turkish foreign minister". The Guardian. Reuters. 4 January 2017.
- ^ "Turkish police identify Reina attacker as Abdulkadir Masharipov - CRIME".
- ^ "Reina Nightclub Attacker Identified As Abdulkadir Masharipov". National Turk. 9 January 2017.
- ^ Burke, Jason (5 January 2017). "Clues suggest Istanbul nightclub gunman may be a Uighur". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- ^ Şafak, Yeni. "Istanbul police evacuate metro over Istanbul attacker tip-off". Yeni Şafak (in Turkish). Retrieved 2017-01-12.
- ^ Morton, Victor. "Suspect arrested in New Year's jihad attack on Istanbul nightclub". washingtontimes.com. Washington Times. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
- ^ a b c "Abdulkadir Masharipov: Who is Istanbul gun attack suspect?". BBC. bbc.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- ^ a b "Istanbul Reina attacker 'switched target' after Raqqa order". hurriyetdailynews.com. Hurriyet. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- ^ "Istanbul: Victims of Reina nightclub attack identified". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
- ^ "Istanbul nightclub attack: Bollywood grieves film producer and Rizvi Builders CEO Abis Rizvi's death". DNA India. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ a b "Seven Saudis among other Arabs killed in Turkey nightclub attack". Al Arabiya English. 1 January 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ a b c "The Latest: Lebanese man says brother is among Istanbul dead". Seymour Tribune. 1 January 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ السبيل دوت نت
- ^ a b c d e f g "Victims of Istanbul terror attack identified". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- ^ "King Mohammed VI to Pay for Remains Transfer of Moroccan Nationals Killed in Istanbul's Attack". Morocco World News. 2 January 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- ^ "Two Indians among those killed in terror attack on Istanbul nightclub". Hindustan Times. 1 January 2017.
- ^ "Terror suspect who killed 39 New Year's revelers in Turkey on the run". NBC News. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ "Israeli woman hurt in Istanbul club attack; another missing". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ "ישראלית נהרגה בפיגוע בטורקיה. "אמרנו לה לא לנסוע בגלל המצב"" [Israeli killed in Turkey terror attack. 'We told her not to go because of the situation'] (in Hebrew). Walla!News. 1 January 2016.
- ^ "גופתה של ליאן תגיע מחר לישראל במימון המדינה" [19 yr old Lian's body brought to Israel funded by the government] (in Hebrew). Israel Broadcasting Authority.
- ^ "Terrorism takes the lives of two Tunisians in Istanbul". Shems FM. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ "Turquie - Décès d'une ressortissante française - Déclaration de Jean-Marc Ayrault" [Turkey - Death of a French national - Statement by Jean-Marc Ayrault] (in French). French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 1 January 2017.
- ^ "People from over 10 countries among Istanbul nightclub attack victims". RT International. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- ^ "Attentat d'Istanbul : au moins trois Français blessés, le tireur toujours en fuite" [Attack of Istanbul: at least three French wounded, the shooter still on the run]. Le Figaro (in French). Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ "Two from Germany killed in Turkish night club attack". TheLocal.de. 2 January 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- ^ "Foreigners among victims of Istanbul attack". Daily Mail. 1 January 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ "Two citizens of Azerbaijan injured in Istanbul terrorist attack". Vestnik Kavkaza. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- ^ "Българка е сред пострадалите при атентата в Истанбул" [Bulgarian is among the victims of the bombing in Istanbul]. Dnes (in Bulgarian). Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ "The Latest: Delaware businessman wounded in Turkey attack". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- ^ "Manhunt underway after 39 killed in Istanbul nightclub terrorist attack (GRAPHIC VIDEOS)". RT News. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- ^ "Manhunt underway after 39 killed in Istanbul nightclub gun attack". Yeni Şafak English. Reuters. 1 January 2017.
- ^ a b Weise, Zia; Graham, Chris; Squires, Nick. "Istanbul nightclub attack: Search continues for unidentified terrorist gunman who killed 39 at New Year's Eve party". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- ^ "World leaders condemn attack at Istanbul nightclub (Video)". Stuff.co.nz. 1 January 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- ^ a b Imbert, Louis. "A Istanbul, les théories du complot fleurissent" [In Istanbul, conspiracy theories flourish]. Le Monde (in French).
- ^ Arango, Tim (4 January 2017). "In Turkey, U.S. Hand Is Seen in Nearly Every Crisis". The New York Times.