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Weighing the impact, significance of Istanbul bombing in historic district




Ambulances and police are seen at the blast site after an explosion in Istanbul's central Sultanahmet district.
Ambulances and police are seen at the blast site after an explosion in Istanbul's central Sultanahmet district.
Can Erok/Getty Images

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A suicide bomber affiliated with the Islamic State group detonated a bomb in a historic district of Istanbul popular with tourists Tuesday morning, killing at least 10 people - nine of them German tourists - and wounding 15 others, Turkish officials said.    

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the bomber who carried out the attack in Istanbul's Sultanahmet district was a member of IS and pledged to battle the militant group until it no longer "remains a threat" to Turkey or the world.

Davutoglu described the attacker as a "foreign national." Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus had previously said the perpetrator was born in 1988 and was a Syrian national, but the private Dogan news agency claimed the bomber was Saudi-born.

On NPR, reporter Peter Kenyon in Istanbul said "Folks here in Istanbul have been on edge for weeks, wondering if something was going to blow up here."

A shopkeeper near Istanbul's Blue Mosque, Ayse Demir, speaking to "The New York Times"  lamented, "Tourism had already dried up after last year's explosion, but after this it's game over."

Sinan Ciddi told KPCC, "I question the sincerity of the Turkish government in taking the best security precautions." Ciddi is Executive Director of the Institute of Turkish Studies and visiting assistant professor at Georgetown University. He spoke with Larry Mantle on "AirTalk" (audio playback above.)

Istanbul is one of the top tourism destinations in the world. Would this attack impact your travel plans there? What more can be done to increase security for the people of Turkey? What is this historical significance of this district?

With files from the Associated Press.

Guest:

Sinan Ciddi, Executive Director of the Institute of Turkish Studies and visiting assistant professor at Georgetown University