Istanbul Ataturk airport attack leaves 36 dead

turkey airport attack istanbul
EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / People stand outside the entrance as they leave the airport after two explosions followed by gunfire hit the Turkey's biggest airport of Ataturk in Istanbul, on June 28, 2016. At least 10 people were killed on June 28, 2016 evening in a suicide attack at the international terminal of Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said. Turkey has been hit by a string of deadly attacks in the past year, blamed on both Kurdish rebels and the Islamic State jihadist group. / AFP / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
Istanbul Ataturk airport

Three suicide bombers opened fire then blew themselves up in Istanbul's main international Ataturk airport yesterday, killing 36 people and wounding close to 150 in what Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, said appeared to have been an attack by Islamic State militants.

One attacker opened fire in the departures hall with an automatic rifle, sending passengers diving for cover and for their life, before they blew themselves up around the arrivals hall, witnesses have said.

Istanbul's Ataturk airport was the 11th busiest airport in the world last year, with 61.8 million passengers, according to Airports Council International. It is Europe’s third busiest airports and also one of the fastest-growing in the world; with many connecting and direct flights to and from Athens.

Turkey has been a transit point for foreign fighters entering Syria through its borders and opposes the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, but has also been concerned about the growing prominence of Kurdish fighters in Syria who are fighting Assad. Some of the rebels fighting in Syria have ties to Kurdish groups in Turkey.

Flights to and from Ataturk International Airport are resuming slowly but for anyone with any concerns travelling to or through Turkey, check out your local government websites.

UK: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/turkey

Australia: smartraveller.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx

U.S: travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/go.html

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.