Police secure area near an Istanbul nightclub, Turkey, January 1, 2017. REUTERS/Osman Orsal – RTX2X3I4
In 2016, Turkey experienced a spate of violent incidents, around two dozen or more authorities called terrorism – some perhaps state-sponsored or committed by parties other than those blamed.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the New Year’s eve mass shootings, killing a reported 39 victims, injuring dozens more in Istanbul’s nightclub attack at Reina. Whether true or not isn’t known.
A promotional piece on the city’s nightlife ranked the club fifth among 435 choices for residents and tourists, saying:
“This club/restaurant has a perfect view on (the) Bosphorus, nice music and DJ and very good drinks, the price is avg.” An updated rating won’t be as kind, not after the club became a mass murder scene, not the attribute of a top entertainment attraction.
It’s likely multiple gunmen were involved, despite official reports citing one. A single shooter would have to reload an automatic or semi-automatic weapon several or more times to kill or wound over 100 people, no simple task – and manage to do it without anyone trying to stop him, a high improbability.
It’s unknown who ordered or carried out what happened, despite ISIS claiming responsibility. Any person or group can call themselves the terror group or anyone else.
No verifiable evidence links the attack to anyone so far. No one has been apprehended. Victims were mostly Middle Eastern from over 10 countries, apparently tourists visiting Istanbul.
Erdogan vowed to retaliate, including against “the forces behind” the perpetrator(s). He expects similar challenges in 2017 after a bloody 2016.
Who may have been responsible for what happened? So far, it’s unknown. Were CIA and/or Mossad dirty hands involved?
Was the attack retaliation for Turkey forging a ceasefire plan in Syria with Russia and Iran – Washington and other NATO states excluded from discussions?
Was it a message telling Erdogan he can expect more of the same if he continues allying East, not West?
Was it another failed US scheme like most every other Obama geopolitical one? Will it drive Erdogan closer to Russia and Iran, distancing himself more from America and NATO?
Will many more incidents like Reina assure it?