19 foreign dignitaries and Turkish mayors have visited the area, where a DAESH suicide attack claimed four lives and injured 39 people on Saturday, in order to pay tribute to the recent terror victims in Istanbul.
Mayors of Beyoglu, Fatih and Esenler districts along with several consul-generals including the US’s Frederick Hunter, the UK’s Leigh Turner, laid carnations at the site on Istiklal Street that was rocked by the latest DAESH bombing, as the street tried to get back to its daily routine.
Ahmet Mishap Demircan, the mayor of Istanbul’s Beyoglu district, where the attack occurred, said that Saturday’s terrorist attack had targeted “humanity” pointing out that he has also shared Belgians’ grief after Tuesday’s deadly attacks in their capital Brussels.
DAESH terrorist organisation claimed responsibility for the latest terror attacks that hit Brussel's Zaventem Airport and a metro station, killing 31 people and wounding 187 others.
Belgium’s Istanbul Head Consulate Marc Jose Vantieghem called for a united fight against such terror attacks during the visit, expressing his appreciation for the messages of solidarity sent by Turkish people.
American diplomat Hunter backed his Belgian colleague saying that every country has to act together against terrorist attacks.
After laying carnations, foreign diplomats and mayors marched to the Belgium Consulate General to demonstrate their solidarity with the country.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly condemned the attacks in Brussels in a written statement saying that "The heinous attacks in Brussels have reiterated that terror cannot be a method of struggle for freedom, and once again underlined the need for common struggle against all types of terror."
A strong security presence was still visible on Istiklal Street on Tuesday as shopkeepers close to the blast site were busy repairing shattered windows and fractured doors in order to remove the last remaining marks of the blast.
“Those terrorist attacks will not break down our unity,” said Aynur, a female shopkeeper who only revealed her first name.
Apart from mayors and foreign diplomats, representatives of several business associations have also paid visits to the bombing area and laid carnations.
Turkey has been targeted with several terror attacks by DAESH and PKK terrorist groups since last July.