The death toll from the June 28 terrorist attack at Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST) has risen to 41 people, with more than 200 injured, according to Turkish officials.
The attack, which included gunfire and explosions, was carried out in IST’s international arrivals area by three suicide bombers who arrived at the airport by taxi, according to Turkish officials. Flights resumed at IST June 29 after a lockdown of the airport imposed in the aftermath of the attack was lifted. Turkish Airlines said its operations had restarted at IST, but offered all passengers with flights booked to or from Istanbul through July 5 refunds or booking changes without charge.
The attack, the second terrorist bombing at a major European airport this year following the March 22 attack at Brussels Airport, was widely condemned. “Today’s attack targeted not only 79 million Turkish citizens but also 7.5 billion human beings around the world,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a statement. “Due to the treacherous nature of terrorism, the bombs that exploded in Istanbul today could have gone off at any airport in any city around the world. Make no mistake: For terrorist organizations, there is no difference between Istanbul and London, Ankara and Berlin, Izmir and Chicago or Antalya and Rome.”
“Once again, innocent travelers have been attacked in a cowardly and murderous act,” IATA DG and CEO Tony Tyler said. “Our thoughts are with the victims, and their families and friends. Air transport brings people together and facilitates both social and economic development. Istanbul has a particularly significant and historical role in connecting East and West. Last night’s attack was a broad attack on our shared humanity. But terrorism will never succeed in reversing the interconnectedness of the world. The desire of the human spirit to explore and trade will always triumph over suspicion and fear. That Istanbul airport is operating today is a testament to the resilience and determination of the Turkish people and the aviation industry.”
He added, “This tragedy in Istanbul and the one in Brussels earlier this year show that there is a growing challenge for governments to keep people safe in the ‘landside’ parts of the airport. Moving people ‘airside’ more quickly can help to mitigate risk.”
In Washington DC, the White House condemned “in the strongest possible terms [the July 28]heinous terrorist attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport in Turkey, which appears to have killed and injured dozens.Ataturk International Airport, like Brussels Airport which was attacked earlier this year, is a symbol of international connections and the ties that bind us together.”