Following what is believed to be the deadliest terror attack ever at an airport, that claimed the lives of at least 41 people, and wounded over 200 more, Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul has reopened, and operations are slowly returning to normal.
As Turkish officials continue to investigate the terror attack by viewing security camera footage, and speaking with witnesses, it’s business as usual at Ataturk airport, as they reopened their door mere hours after three separate bombs were detonated both inside and outside the airport’s international arrivals terminal. Inside the airport the morning after the terror attack, lines of travellers can be seen, while an arrival and departure board flashes details of flights — one-third of which have been cancelled, while a slew of others delayed. Airport employees work to clear debris, and fix damages, while police tape still surrounds parts of the airport.
Though the airport has reopened and resumed operations for the most part, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office urges travellers to speak to their airline carries for updated information regarding their flights, and to “follow the advice of the local security forces,” for more details.
“There has been an attack at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul. If you are in the area follow the advice of the local security forces.
“Please follow Travel Advice for further updates. Flights to and from Ataturk International Airport are resuming gradually. Speak to your carrier for updated travel information before travelling to the airport.”
The FCO is also advising against all travel to within 10 kilometers of Turkey’s border with Syria, and to the city of Diyarbakir.
According to CTV News, though no group has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Istanbul International Airport, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said that preliminary findings of the attack show that it was likely carried out by Islamic State, and it is being called the deadliest attack ever on an airport. With 41 casualties reported so far, Tuesday’s attack surpasses the one on Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport in 2011, which killed 37 people.
Of the 41 people killed, 13 are reportedly foreign nationals, with five from Saudi Arabia, two from Iraq, and one each from Tunisia, Uzbekistan, China, Iran, Ukraine and Jordan, reports the Istanbul Governor’s office. At least 23 of those killed during the attack on Ataturk airport were Turkish citizens.
The fact that last night’s bombers managed to get as far as security, despite airport officials claiming to have beefed up security measures in the wake of the Brussels’ airport attack, has some wondering how they managed to get that far. Director of International Security Studies, Raffaello Pantucci, spoke to the Daily Mail, following the attack, and said he believes the next step is to have added security in place elsewhere inside and outside the airport, rather than just at the terminals.
“Last night’s attack in Istanbul appears to have taken place near security. It seems the bombers got as far as the security checkpoints and then launched the attack. This therefore leaves us questioning whether we need to push security further out. Some places have security even before you get to the airport. There is extra expense and it is an inconvenience but we need to think if it is necessary. Aviation is a terror target, so is the threat now so high that we have to push out our security?”
All three of the attackers detonated their suicide bombs during last night’s attack at the Istanbul International Airport. Witnesses say one bomb went off just inside the arrival terminal, while the other two detonated outside — one near the entrance, and another in a parking lot across the street. Prime Minister Yildirim says they have no reason to believe any other attackers were at large, and for this reason, Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul has reopened its doors this morning, in an attempt to return to as normal as possible in the wake of the deadly tragedy.
[Photo by AP Photo/Emrah Gurel]