Car Bomb Hits Historic Area in Istanbul

A car bomb exploded in an historic area of Istanbul during rush hour Tuesday, the Washington Post reports. The blast was remotely detonated as a van carrying riot police drove by, killing seven police officers and at least four civilians, and wounding 36 others. 

According to the BBC the bombing took place outside a hotel near the historic Beyazit Square neighborhood, which is a major tourist attraction, and an Istanbul university building. The hotel was largely empty due to the recent decline in tourism to the city. 

The bombing is the fourth major attack in Turkey so far this year, according to the BBC, including a blast that killed 12 German tourists in Istanbul in January, the bombing of a military convoy in Ankara that killed 28 in February, a March attack in Ankara and Istanbul that left 39 dead, and a double suicide bombing at a Kurdish peace rally in Ankara that killed more than 100 people. 

The recent attacks have had a strong impact on travel to Istanbul. According to a recent study on summer travel by Allianz Global Assistance, travel to the city is down 43.7 percent this summer versus summer 2015, although travel to Europe overall is up 9.3 percent. 

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