On Tuesday, June 28, a heart-breaking event shook those of Istanbul, Turkey. A small group of terrorists invaded the Ataturk Airport, which served as the largest terrorist attack in Turkey. There are several things one should know about what happened in Turkey; from the affects the event had on the people to the effect it had on the economy and neighboring countries. It imperative that we are aware of the current events happening inside and outside the areas we live in, because ultimately, one event affects everyone everywhere; so here are the 8 most important things one should know about the tragedy in Istanbul, Turkey.
1. The Attackers
There were 3 individuals who traveled by taxi to hold the Ataturk airport under attack. Once the attackers reached the site, they began shooting at the terminal entrance on Tuesday night; all of the attackers committed suicide by blowing themselves up. Authorities are still unclear about who these terrorists were or where they came from, but they suspect that they are foreign nationals. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan suggested that the attackers weren't Muslims, but critics suspect that the attackers were apart of the Islamic State (IS). Yet, nothing has been confirmed, and nobody has claimed the attack.
2. Deaths and Injuries
There were officially 42 deaths and 239 injuries as a result of this attack. The majority of the deaths were Turkish (24 of the individuals), but there were 5 individuals from Saudi, 2 individuals from Iraqi, and 1 individual with a mixed nationality. In addition to the 42 deaths that happened that Tuesday, another woman died the next day as a result of the attack. Out of the 239 injured, 41 had to be admitted into intensive care.
3. Location of Attacks
The terrorists attacked in 3 different parts of the Ataturk International Terminal in the Ataturk Airport. The first bomb was in arrivals on the ground floor of the international terminal; the second bombing was in departures on the first floor of the international terminal, near security; and the third bomb was in the car park outside of the international terminal.
4. This is one of many attacks in Turkey between 2015 and 2016
Unfortunately, this is now the 9th attack Turkey has suffered from in the past year and a half. Overall, there has been over 270 deaths as a result of these attacks throughout Istanbul, Ankara, and Suruc. The majority of these attacks has been declared by a Kurdish militant group TAK, and/or was assumed to be IS.
5. The Effect on People
Innocent mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends, have been lost. Not only has this event shaken Turkey, it has shaken the world, and countless tears have been shed. Neighboring cities, communities and countries, have also been greatly affected by this tragedy, and of course, the hash tag #PrayForTurkey is trending enormously around the world throughout social media.
6. The Effect on Economy
The event will definitely have a terrible impact on Turkey’s economy. For starters, the Ataturk airport is one of world’s busiest airports, serving as an airport for over 61 million individuals just in the last year. Also, it serves as an airport for both domestic and international travel. The damage done inside and outside of the airport as a result of the attack will be extremely expensive, and of course, repairs cannot be done overnight. This affects the amount of people willing to travel through the airport, as well as people willing to come to Turkey, so the amount of tourism in Turkey will decrease. In addition, there will be an increased loss of human resources due to the amount of individuals who have had their health, and their life threatened by this tragedy. And, as a result of this terrorism, Turkey will most likely spend more money on combating terrorism, and finding ways to protect their country.
7. The Effect on the Russia-Turkey Relationship
The relationship between Russia and Turkey fell apart after Turkey shot down a Russian military jet in late November of 2015. Yet, the terrorism attack on Turkey helped mend the broken relationship; Erdogan (the Turkish leader) and Vladimir Putin (the Russian leader) spoke for the first time since the incident happened 6 months ago. The leaders are now working to repair the relationship and drop the restrictions regarding Russians coming into Turkey.
8. How You Can Help!
A terrorist attack anywhere in the world ultimately affects everyone, directly and/or indirectly. This is a tragedy that creates a lot of distress and mourning amongst people all over the world, but fortunately there are several ways we can help. Because this event just happened, there aren’t a lot of funds set up to financially support the victims just yet, but consider supporting the victims by donating money to either the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (and you can specify your donation to go toward the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund) or, by contributing directly to the Turkish Red Crescent Society (use your browser to translate to the language if necessary).
In addition, one of the easiest and one of the most important things we can do is raise awareness; the more awareness, the more people who know about what happened, and the more people who are willing to support. The #PrayforTurkey hash tag on social media is a way that people have already done this; so, posting images, creating hash tags etc. will help to continue to spread the word and emphasize the seriousness of this event. But, keep in mind that it’s also important that we actually do pray for Turkey! Don’t just talk about it, be about it. And, of course, reach out to any friends or family members affected by this event and give them your support. At the end of the day, it is all about support and that’s the best thing we can offer.