No one should believe reports that Erdogans government has ordered ‘raids’ against ISIS and is somehow against the ideology that ISIS represents, which is 100% pure Islam. We wouldn’t be surprised if Erdogan himself provided the weapons for this attack. Turkey is hardly a “protector of the cross”. The Erdogan government has converted Haga Sophia, a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal basilica, into a mosque.
This is a Turkish political strategy to appear as a “victim of terror” to gain entry into the EU. Nothing else.
Turkey arrests eight over nightclub attack as Isis claims responsibility
Gunman not among those detained, while Turkish military says it has carried out raids on Isis targets in Syria in response to attack.
by Jamie Grierson and agencies
Monday 2 January 2017 12.43 GMT
Turkish police have reportedly arrested eight people in connection with the gun attack on an Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people on New Year’s Eve, as Islamic State claimed responsibility for the atrocity.
The gunman, who escaped after the attack and who is believed to be from Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan, was not among the eight detained by anti-terrorism squads, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
The Turkish military said it had carried out raids against Isis in Syria in response to the attack. Turkish jets struck eight targets, and tanks and artillery fired on 103 targets near al-Bab, killing 22 fighters, the Turkish chief of general staff’s office told Anadolu.
The attack on the Reina nightclub in Turkey’s largest city on Saturday night killed partygoers from 12 different countries. The gunman killed a police officer and another person to enter the club, and reportedly fired 180 bullets during the seven-minute attack. Sixty-nine people were injured.
An Isis statement said the gunman had “struck one of the most famous nightclubs where the Christians celebrate their apostate holiday” and described Turkey as a “protector of the cross”.
Turkish media reports said police had established similarities with a suicide bomb and gun attack at Istanbul’s Atatürk airport in June and were investigating whether the same Isis cell could have carried out both atrocities.
Turkey’s interior ministry said on Monday that 147 people had been detained in the past week over suspected ties to Isis and 25 had been put under formal arrest.
Witnesses to the nightclub attack described scenes of chaos as revellers attempted to flee. Some threw themselves into the waters of the Bosphorus to escape the gunfire.
Nearly two-thirds of the dead at the club, which is frequented by local celebrities, were foreigners. Anadolu, citing unidentified Turkish justice ministry officials, said 38 of the 39 had been identified.
It said 11 of those killed were Turkish nationals and one was a Turkish-Belgian dual citizen. Seven victims were from Saudi Arabia; there were three each from Lebanon and Iraq; two each from Tunisia, India, Morocco and Jordan, and one each from Kuwait, Canada, Israel, Syria and Russia.
The German foreign ministry said on Monday that two residents of Bavaria, one a Turkish national and one a dual Turkish-German citizen, had died in the attack.
It remains unclear how the attacker managed to escape from the club, which is just across the street from a police station. One report suggested he had abandoned his weapon and mingled with the crowd outside, pretending to be an injured civilian.
The prime minister, Binali Yıldırım, said the attacker left a gun at the scene and escaped by “taking advantage of the chaos”.
There were more than 30 violent acts last year in Turkey, which is a Nato member and a partner in the US-led coalition fighting Isis in Syria and Iraq. There were a number of bombings, including three in Istanbul that authorities blamed on Isis, a failed coup attempt in July and renewed conflict with Kurdish rebels in the south-east.
Isis claims to have cells in the country. Analysts think it was behind suicide bombings last January and March that targeted tourists on İstiklal Street in Istanbul and the attack at Atatürk airport in June, in which 45 people died.
In December, Isis released a video purportedly showing the killing of two Turkish soldiers and urged its supporters to “conquer” Istanbul. Turkey’s jets regularly bomb the group in the northern Syrian town of al-Bab. Turkish authorities have not confirmed the authenticity of the video.
One of the Istanbul attacker’s victims was Rita Sami (pictured), 26, daughter of Ilyas Schami, a prominent Lebanese businessman. She was pictured on social media wearing flowers in her hair (right)