attack in Istanbul…Sultanahmet…explosión en Estambul

Text credits:
http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/go/Istanbul/Sights/Sultanahmet/
The Sultanahmet district is the heart of historic Old Istanbul, what 19th-century travelers used to call “Stamboul.”
This is where you’ll find Topkapı Palace, Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia), the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii), the Byzantine Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Saray), Binbirdirek Cistern, the Istanbul Archeological Museums, Great Palace Mosaic Museum, and several lesser sights (see map below).
It’s your best base for sightseeing in Istanbul.

Text credits:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/istanbuls-sultanahmet-square-rocked-by-blast-1452589837
Turkey Blames Islamic State in Istanbul Attack
ISTANBUL—An Islamic State suicide bomber struck in the heart of Istanbul’s tourist district Tuesday, killing at least 10 people, mostly Germans, in the extremist group’s first major attack on Turkey’s vital tourism industry.
The bomber, identified by Turkish authorities as a Syrian citizen born in 1988, walked up to a tour group preparing to visit the Blue Mosque and other world-renowned buildings and detonated the explosives shortly after 10 a.m., officials said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. But Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the bomber belonged to Islamic State, the Sunni Muslim militant group based across the border in Syria and Iraq that has sought to extend its reach globally.
As investigators pored over the blast scene, government officials gathered for an emergency security meeting.

The strike on Istanbul’s historic center highlights the increasing spillover from the chaos in Syria. Attacks linked to Islamic State escalated last summer against Kurdish groups and sympathizers in Turkey after Kurdish militias took a leading role in fighting Islamic State in Syria. The mounting threat prompted a hesitant Turkey to join the U.S.-led military campaign against the group and to launch its own airstrikes.
“This attack is a repercussion on Turkey of the civil war that has been going on in Syria for five years, and its related proxy wars,” said Numan Kurtulmus, Turkey’s deputy prime minister.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged to press on with the fight. “Turkey is the primary target for all terrorist organizations active in the region,” he said. “Turkey will continue its determined and principled fight against terrorism until the very end.”
At least eight of those killed and nine of the injured were from Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy for Syrian refugees has come under increasing fire. Critics say last year’s uncontrolled migration has exposed Europe to heightened security risks.
Ms. Merkel expressed her condolences to the victims’ loved ones and urged solidarity with Turkey. “Let us not forget the people in Turkey, who again and again have become targets of terror,” Ms. Merkel said.
As graphic images of bodies lying in the square spread across social media, authorities banned television coverage in Turkey.
Eyewitnesses and Turkish officials said the bomber appeared to target the group of foreign tourists gathered near an ancient Egyptian obelisk, close to the entrance to the Blue Mosque compound.
“It was a single, very loud blast,” said Mahmut Karademir, a restaurant worker near the blast site. “Then people started running for their lives.”
Berlin-based Lebenslust Touristik GmbH said members of one of its tour groups were among the dead and injured. At the time of the bombing, 33 tour participants were on the streets, the company said.

“These are difficult hours for all of us. Hours of mourning, of anger, and of outrage,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said.
Tuesday’s attack on the tourist industry, worth some $30 billion annually, could have far-reaching effects on the country’s economy as well as its security.
Firas Abi Ali, a senior analyst with IHS Country Risk, described it as a risky strategic shift that would “herald a broader campaign against Turkey” and “will likely provoke a significant backlash by the Turkish government.”
The bombing could also accelerate Turkish efforts to tighten its border with Syria to choke off the ability of Islamic State extremists to cross in and out.
More than 400,000 Syrians arrived in Germany last year to apply for asylum, according to government figures, part of a massive wave of migrants who crossed into Europe via Turkey.
Opponents of Ms. Merkel’s welcoming policy have highlighted the possibility of Islamic State militants entering among the refugees.
Mr. Kurtulmus, Turkey’s deputy prime minister, said Turkey had been systematically targeted since the July 20 bombing in the southeastern town of Suruç. That attack, linked to Islamic State, killed 33 peace activists as they prepared to cross the border to the Syrian city of Kobani, where U.S.-backed Kurdish militants had just ousted Islamic State fighters.
Turkey soon found itself in a two-front war against Islamic State and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has been fighting for Kurdish autonomy for decades. Both groups are designated by Ankara and its Western allies as terrorist organizations.
With the peace process between Turkey and its Kurds stalled, the PKK and its affiliates have led an urban uprising in Turkey’s southeast. They targeted a police station in Istanbul in a deadly assault in August, and claimed a mortar attack on the smaller of Istanbul’s two airports in December.
Ankara has responded by opening its air bases for U.S.-led coalition forces fighting Islamic State, launching limited airstrikes on the jihadist organization in Syria and on PKK camps in northern Iraq, and launching military operations against Kurdish insurgents in southeastern Turkey.
But the campaigns have failed to halt the death toll, as soldiers and police are killed while battling the PKK, Kurdish separatists are killed by the dozens and civilians get caught in the crossfire.
In October, Islamic State struck in Ankara, killing more than 100 people at a rally demanding an end to fighting between Turkey and the PKK.

—Anton Troianovski and Andrea Thomas in Berlin and Ruth Bender in Frankfurt contributed to this article.
Write to Emre Peker at emre.peker@wsj.com and Dion Nissenbaum at dion.nissenbaum@wsj.com

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Sultanahmet
Créditos de este texto:
http://www.estambul.org/barrio-de-sultanahmet
El barrio de Sultanahmet es el barrio turístico por excelencia de Estambul.
Si dispones de pocos días para visitar la ciudad aquí es donde encontrarás varios de los monumentos más importantes como la Mezquita Azul (o Mezquita de Sultanhamet, mezquita por la que toma su nombre el barrio), Santa Sofía, el Hipódromo Romano, la Cisterna Basílica, el Palacio de Topkapi o el Museo Arqueológico.
Un recorrido por este barrio visitando todos estos lugares de interés te puede ocupar un día y medio / dos días.

Explosión en Sultanahmet
Créditos de este texto:
http://www.elmundo.es/internacional/2016/01/12/5694bd5a22601dcd5a8b456d.html
LLUÍS MIQUEL HURTADO
ACTUALIZADO 12/01/201619:40
Una explosión ha sacudido la plaza de Sultanahmet, en el centro de Estambul, una de las zonas más turísticas de la ciudad. El atentado ha causado al menos 10 muertos y 15 heridos, según ha confirmado el Gobierno de Turquía . “Al menos ocho de las 10 víctimas mortales son alemanas”, ha confirmado la canciller alemana Angela Merkel. La novena víctima es peruana, tal y como ha confirmado la ministra de Exteriores de este país. Entre los heridos, hay al menos nueve ciudadanos alemanes, un noruego y un peruano’. El presidente turco, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, que se ha dirigido a la nación a través de la televisión, ha informado en un primer momento que el autor del atentado “es un terrorista suicida de origen sirio” nacido en 1988. Sin embargo, poco después el primer ministro turco Davutoglu ha afirmado que el terrorista es un “miembro extranjero del Estado Islámico” (IS) y que había atravesado la frontera desde Siria. Davutoglu ha añadido que el sospechosos no estaba incluido en la lista de sospechosos de pertenecer al IS.
La agencia DHA había previamente identificado al terrorista como Nabil Fadl y asegurado que nació en Arabia Saudí. Mientras los investigadores analizan el tipo de explosivo utilizado, fuentes policiales han asegurado a Reuters que es “altamente posible” que el Estado Islámico esté detrás del ataque. Ante la gravedad del atentado, el primer ministro turco, Ahmet Davutoglu, ha convocado una reunión de urgencia en Ankara. Los medios turcos ya adelantaron esta mañana que un terrorista suicida había detonado su carga explosiva cuando se acercaba a un grupo de turistas junto a la mezquita de Sultanahmet, también conocida como la Mezquita Azul. El estallido tuvo lugar cerca del Obelisco egipcio del hipódromo, junto a la entrada de famosa mezquita. Según relatan testigos, el fuerte estallido se ha oído en todo el centro de Estambul. La policía ha evacuado la zona y ha cerrado el acceso a la plaza. Sultanahmet es el barrio donde se encuentra, entre otras, la famosa Mezquita Azul y Hagia Sophia, dos de las principales atracciones turísticas de Turquía. Unos 12 millones de extranjeros visitan la ciudad de Bósforo al año. Como medida de precaución, Alemania y España han pedido a sus ciudadanos que eviten los lugares turísticos en Estambul. Por su parte, el Ministerio de Exteriores español ha asegurado a EL MUNDO.es que “no hay constancia, por ahora, de españoles afectados”.Durante las horas posteriores al atentado terrorista la información ha sido confusa. De hecho, según varios medios, un juez ha emitido una orden para censurar toda imagen de las zonas afectadas por la explosión, un paso que ya viene siendo habitual por parte de las autoridades turcas, como ya hicieron en la masacre de Ankara.Muchos países se han apresurado a condenar el ataque. Especialmente contundente ha sido la respuesta de Angela Merkel, que ha llamado a tomar “acciones decisivas contra el terrorismo internacional, que ha mostrado su peor cara”. El presidente turco ha afirmado que el atentado de hoy muestra, una vez más, que hay que “estar unidos contra el terror”. “Turquía es el primer objetivo de todas las organizaciones terroristas que actúan en la región porque luchamos contra ellas de forma decidida”, añadió. Turquía ha sido escenario frecuente de atentados, reivindicados por distintas organizaciones terroristas. El pasado 10 de octubre, alrededor de un centenar de personas murieron en un atentado en Ankara.

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