Turkey's top cleric decries Istanbul nightclub attack

'Extremism cannot be tolerated whoever or whatever it comes from,' Mehmet Gormez says

Turkey's top cleric decries Istanbul nightclub attack

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey's top cleric Mehmet Gormez condemned an armed attack at an Istanbul nightclub early Sunday that killed at least 35 people and injured 40 others.

"The armed attack on the vulnerable people in the first hours of the new year hurt our nation deeply. There is no difference whether this inhuman massacre is carried out at a bazaar, a place of entertainment or a place of worship," Gormez, head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, said in a written statement that described the attack as "savagery".

"Extremists do not target places, but people, nations and the whole humanity. extremism cannot be tolerated whoever or whatever it comes from," Gormez added.

Earlier, Governor Vasip Sahin said the attack in Ortakoy, Besiktas, was “cruel” and an “act of terror”.

“At 1.15 a.m., an extremist carrying a long-barreled weapon killed the police officer waiting outside, and then killed another citizen to enter” the club, he said.

“He then carried out this violent and cruel act by spraying bullets on innocent people who were celebrating the new year," Sahin said.

An investigation is underway and the governor’s office would provide further updates, he added.

The attack comes three weeks after twin bombings in Istanbul killed at least 45 people, mostly police officers.

Last Mod: 01 Ocak 2017, 10:23
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