Istanbul Airport Reopens Following Terrorist Attack

istanbul
Photo by Freeimages.com/Litana Bioli

A terrorist attack late Tuesday struck Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport when three attackers opened fire on the terminal entrance, the BBC reports. After exchanging fire with police, the attackers detonated a suicide bomb. 

Thus far no terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for the attack, although the attack bears signs of being carried out by ISIS, according to BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner. 41 people have been reported killed, with 239 injured. 

"Our thoughts are with the citizens of Turkey today, especially those who lost loved ones,” said ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby in a written statement. “ASTA offers its sympathy and support to all those impacted by these terrorist attacks against innocent family, friends and neighbors. We’re reaching out to our 35 member agencies in Turkey to offer any assistance we can. Our hearts go out to you, and we pray for everyone's safety and for peace in Turkey."

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“As the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey we would like to express our gratitude for whom showed their support to the Turkish Public after the hateful attacks,” said Gorkem Kursunlu Karakus, counselor-director for the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism. “We would also kindly inform the public that right after the hateful attack all the necessary security measures have been taken by the state’s security forces and that as of today the Airport is open to the air traffic and all the services are continuing.”

Flights from the airport resumed as of 2:20 a.m. local time, ABC News reports, although the international arrivals area remained closed. While as many as one third of scheduled flights have been canceled, with many others delayed, Turkish Airlines said that flight operations have resumed, and flights between Turkey and the U.S. are running again. 

The attack marks the second terrorist incident in an Istanbul tourist area this summer. A car bomb struck the historic Beyazit Square neighborhood earlier this month. 

Travel to the city is down 43.7 percent this summer versus last year, according to a study released by Allianz Global Assistance in late May. Travel to Europe overall was up 9.3 percent in that study. 

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