Istanbul bombing ignites fear in Turkey

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Istiklal Avenue in central Istanbul, where a bombing on Sunday left six dead and 81 injured, has started to draw crowds once more. After the attack, the locals exhibited shock and defiance.

Steps away from the explosion site is where Furkan works at a chocolate shop. “We were enjoying a cigarette near the door at around 4:20 p.m. (13:20 GMT),” he told Al Jazeera. “Suddenly, there was an explosion. We couldn’t believe it. The scenario was terrifying.”

He claimed that a crowd immediately gathered in the area, and he was concerned that a second device might detonate. He returned to work on Monday even though the store closed for the remainder of the day.

Following the explosion, the police had sealed up all of Istiklal’s entrances. Although the main entrance was momentarily shut by police until 3:45pm (12:35 GMT) as politicians visited the blast scene, where flowers have been laid as a memorial for the deaths, the street was reopened on Monday.

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There may have been as many as 1,200 Turkish flags lining Istiklal, according to some estimates. A married couple, a teenager and her mother, and a nine-year-old daughter and her father were all killed in the explosion. They were all Turkish nationals.

Authorities reported on Monday that 24 injured persons, including two who were in serious condition, were still receiving medical care while 57 injured people had been released after receiving treatment.

On Monday, Istiklal was quieter than usual due to the significant police presence, but there were still lots of people going down the street.

At Marlen, a bar on a side street not far from the explosion site, Metincan Alkan, 30, works. He predicted that following the incident, local companies will be severely impacted. “People would once more begin to avoid Beyoglu,” he said. “It’s horrible for us in every way, I mean.”

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Raven Ruma is a professional journalist with a keen eye on domestic and foreign situations. His favorite pastime is to keep the public informed about the current situation through his pen and he is fulfilling this responsibility through the platform of Arab News.

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