Voltaire Network

The attack on the Istanbul nightclub


Several pieces of information are coming to light on the attack that took place on 1 January 2017, in an Istanbul nightclub. Meanwhile the Turkish government has imposed a blanket ban on the local press, prohibiting them from covering this story without first obtaining permission.

- The attack resulted in 39 dead and 69 injured.
- The target was the nightclub Reina, the hotspot for the Christian Orthodox bourgeoisie in Europe (that is, on the European side of the Bosphorus).
- Contrary to what was initially reported, witnesses testify to 2 to 4 gunmen being present.
- Contrary to what was initially reported, not one of the shooters was dressed as Father Christmas. In contrast, in the days preceding [the attack], some newspapers close to the AKP and some Muslim preachers denounced the pagan festivities for the New Year and the cult of Father Christmas.
- According to the police, the authors of the attack were well trained in handling weapons.
- The police declared that they had identified one of the shooters and disseminated his photograph (see above), but they have not revealed his name. It appears that he is of Central Asian origin. His home has been searched and fifteen people among those close to him have been arrested and questioned.
- Daesh was the only organization to claim responsibility for the attack.
- The wife of the gunman identified assured the police that she was unaware that her husband had links to Daesh.

From these factors, we can infer that this attack, like the one perpetrated against the Russian ambassador at Ankara on 19 December, was aimed at challenging the rapprochement between Turkey and Russia. While the attack may serve the interest of Daesh, these factors allow us to think that it was not, necessarily, the author.

Anoosha Boralessa

Voltaire Network

Voltaire, international edition

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