Munich, Germany – People in Europe feel shocked and angered by the deadly attack in Istanbul on Tuesday morning. While many demand more resolute actions against international terrorism, others condemn the double standards in reactions to terrorist attacks in different parts of the world.
“How often does this have to happen, until we really react? On the one hand we, as the West, don’t want to send boots on the ground in the war against ISIS. But on the other hand, we don’t even help the Kurds, the only ones who truly fight those savages, with what they need,” says 24-year-old Alan Bennett, who lives in the United Kingdom.
On Tuesday morning, a yet unknown terrorist detonated a bomb at the historic Sultanahmet Square in the city of Istanbul in Turkey. The detonation killed, at least, ten people and wounded 15 more. At least eight of the killed were German.
Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said in a televised speech that international terror changes the places of its attacks but that its target is always the same - free lives in a free society. "Once again, international terrorism is showing its cruel and inhuman face today."
Johannes Wendland, a German student from Munich, says: “I was in Istanbul just a few weeks ago, this is so shocking. I’ve heard that most of the victims were German. We really have to do something against those crazy people.”
Being part of the anti-IS coalition, Turkey has not yet shown any concrete moves against the Wahhabi terrorist organization controlling major parts of Iraq and Syria. However, the Southeast-European country leads a devastating war against its own Kurdish population in the east. More than 200 Kurdish civilians have been killed since the resurgence of the Turkey-PKK war in July last year.
Swedish student Emil Ahlberg is shocked about the attacks in Turkey, he has lit a candle in front of the Turkish embassy in Sweden. Nevertheless, he complains about the double standards of the reactions, especially in European media: “I am really sorry for the victims and their families. This is a tragedy. But I don’t understand why we differentiate between victims from different regions in the same country. In the last months, Erdogan’s regime killed hundreds of Kurdish civilians in the country’s east, but the outcry wasn’t that big is it is now for the victims in Turkey’s west. I think this is just wrong. We should condemn all injustices and criminal actions against innocents, not just some.”
The attack on Tuesday was the fourth bomb attack in Turkey since last year. Although the terrorist group ISIS took responsibility for all prior attacks, nobody clearly knows yet, who was responsible for the Istanbul bombing.
Shortly after the attack, Turkish President Erdogan said in a televised speech that the bombing was carried out by a Syrian, without giving any evidence or further information on the terrorist’s background.
The Sultanahmet Square is a highly frequented tourist destination and home to the iconic Blue Mosque and the 1500-year-old Hagia Sophia, which in the past served as a byzantine Church, an ottoman Mosque and now as a popular Museum in Istanbul.