Turkey Hit With First Terrorist Attack of 2017

by Ally Keefer

Within the first two hours of 2017, a terrorist attack took place in Istanbul, Turkey. During the celebrations of the new year, a shooter entered a nightclub after shooting a police officer and a civilian outside the club. That evening, 70 people were injured–including one American–and 39 were killed. According to The New York Times, no one knew who the shooter was, but the Turkish police hoped to find him soon.

Six hundred people from 14 different countries were celebrating the new year early at the nightclub on January 1.  They were enjoying their night until around 1:15 am when a shooter entered the Reina nightclub. CNN reported the shooting lasted for 10 minutes, murdering innocent people from all over the world.  Eyewitness, Sinem Uyanik, explained in an interview with The New York Times that her husband was shot and he fell on top her. They then had to remove other bodies that had fallen on top of them to escape the building.

During the search for the shooter, many people helped in the hunt. The researchers looked frantically for a reason along with the suspect himself. Early on, experts suspected that the alleged did this out of jihad, or a holy war. Juliette Kayyem from CNN stated that since Reina typically was a highly populated club, it would easily maximize the casualties involved.

On January 2, CNN reported ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. The terrorist group mentioned on a Twitter post that this was the first sizable attack of the new year. Officials still had not found the shooter yet; however they had discovered video footage of him and have found his fingerprints.

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