A year of tragedy in Turkey

2016 for Turkey was a year marred by attacks that targeted security forces and civilians alike. The country had barely entered 2017 when another attack hit a popular nightclub.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Turkey has been hit by a wave of terrorist attacks in the past year.

Updated Jan 2, 2017

The latest terror attack on the Reina nightclub in Istanbul on New Year's Day destroyed hopes that 2017 would be a better year for Turkey, which throughout 2016 witnessed a wave of attacks in which dozens of people lost their lives. 

Most of these attacks were carried out by Daesh and the PKK, two groups both recognised by the European Union, the United States and Turkey as terrorist organisations.

Below is a list of major attacks in Turkey since January 2016:

January 12, 2016 - Sultanahmet, Istanbul

A 28-year-old Syrian detonated a bomb in Istanbul's Sultanahmet Square, a popular tourist area where the historic Blue Mosque is located. Thirteen people were killed and 16 were injured, including the attacker. Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack

February 17, 2016 - Ankara

An explosive-laden vehicle targeted a convoy of shuttles carrying military and civilian personnel. Twenty-eight people were killed and 61 were injured. TAK, a branch of the PKK, claimed responsibility for the attack in Turkey's capital.

March 13, 2016 - Ankara

An attack carried out by TAK claimed 37 lives and injured 125 when a car bomb exploded in the capital Ankara. 

This terror attack took place at Kizilay district near Guvenpark, where a major transportation hub is located. [AA]

March 19, 2016 - Istanbul

A suicide attack carried out by Daesh in front of the Beyoglu Governorate in the busy Istiklal Steet in Taksim killed four people and injured seven.

April 24, 2016 - Bursa

One person was killed and 13 injured in a suicide attack by the PKK close to the Ulu Mosque in Turkey’s northwestern city of Bursa.

A female suicide bomber detonated herself in Turkey’s northwestern Bursa Province. [AA]

May 1, 2016 - Gaziantep

An attack by Daesh killed two police officers and injured 40 when an explosive-laden vehicle was detonated outside the police headquarters in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep.

May 10, 2016 - Diyarbakir

Three people were killed and 45 were injured in a PKK attack on a police bus in the Baglar district of Diyarbakir, a city in Turkey’s southeast.

A 40-year old civilian died after he was caught in the crossfire between Turkish security officials and the outlawed PKK’s youth-wing. [AA]

May 12, 2016 - Sancaktepe, Istanbul

Nine people injured when a car bomb exploded in Sancaktepe near the Army Aviation Regiment Command in Istanbul. Six soldiers were among the injured. The PKK claimed responsibility for the attack.

May 12, 2016 - Diyarbakir

Sixteen people died and 23 were injured when a PKK truck laden with 15 tons of explosives went off in Diyarbakir in Turkey's southeast.

June 7, 2016 - Istanbul

TAK claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack which killed 11 people including seven police officers and injured 36 others in Istanbul’s Vezneciler area.

The blast took place close to Istanbul University, the mayor’s office and a metro station. [AA]

June 8, 2016 - Mardin

Five people were killed including two policewomen, one of whom was pregnant, and three civilians when a car bomb went off close to the police headquarters in Mardin's Midyat district, located in the country’s southeast. Thirty-four people were wounded in the attack claimed by the PKK.

June 28, 2016 - Ataturk Airport, Istanbul

Thirty-five people were killed in an attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport and more than 100 people were injured. The attack was carried out by Daesh. Two of the four attackers blew themselves up.

A riot police officer stands guard at the entrance of the Ataturk airport in Istanbul following multiple suicide bombing. [Reuters]

July 15, 2016 - Turkey (nationwide) 

Almost 300 people died across Turkey when a junta of soldiers within the Turkish military went rogue and attempted to overthrow the democratically elected government. The failed coup attempt was linked to a network of followers of US-based cult leader Fethullah Gulen known as FETO. 

August 20, 2016 - Gaziantep

Fifty-one people were killed in a Daesh suicide attack at a wedding in Gaziantep. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the suicide bomber was a young boy between the ages of 12 and 14.

August 26, 2016 - Diyarbakir

The PKK attacked a police station in Cizre in Diyarbakir. Thirteen people were killed and 78 injured.

October 9, 2016 - Hakkari

Eighteen people were killed and 26 injured in an attack by the PKK in Semdinli, in Turkey’s southeastern city of Hakkari.

November 11, 2016 - Mardin

Mardin province's district governor Muhammet Fatih Safiturk died in hospital following a bomb attack by the PKK on his office in the southeastern city of Derik in Mardin.

Mardin district governor Muhammet Fatih Safiturk died in a PKK bomb attack. [AA]

December 10, 2016 - Istanbul

Thirty-eight people were killed and 155 injured after two explosions outside the Vodafone Arena Stadium in central Istanbul. A car bomb was remotely detonated and 45 seconds later, a suicide bomb went off across the road at Macka Park.

10 people had been detained in connection with the twin bombings in Istanbul. [AA]

January 1, 2017 - Istanbul

At least 39 people were killed and 69 were injured when a gunman burst into the Reina nightclub in Istanbul's Besiktas district where people had gathered to mark New Year celebrations. The gunman opened fire before escaping. A number of foreigners, mainly from Arab countries, were among the dead. Daesh later claimed responsibility for the attack.