A bomb rocked Istiklal Avenue, a major pedestrian avenue in the heart of Istanbul with shops and restaurants that leads to the iconic Taksim Square, on Sunday afternoon at 4.13 p.m. (1313 GMT). Six people were killed and several dozen wounded. Istiklal Avenue, a popular tourist area, was heavily crowded on Sunday. The area was cordoned off by security services. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the blast a “treacherous attack.”
Vice President Fuat Oktay said 81 were wounded. “We consider it to be a terrorist act as a result of an attacker, whom we consider to be a woman, detonating the bomb,”he told media. An investigation has been launched. Turkey’s media watchdog imposed temporary restrictions on reporting on Sunday’s explosion , a move that bans the use of close-up videos and photos of the blast including on social media sites. Charles Michel, European Council President, declared: “Horrific news from Istanbul tonight. Condolences to the victims of the explosion at Istiqlal.” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted his “deepest condolences” to the Turkish people. Leaders of other coutries including Austria, Italy and Ukraine expressed their strong reactions condemning the incident. During last years, some attacks in Turkey were perpetrated by the Islamic State group, while others were executed by Kurdish militants.