Debris from the demolition of the Reina nightclub near the July 15 Martyrs Bridge in Istanbul.
Debris from the demolition of the Reina nightclub near the July 15 Martyrs Bridge in Istanbul.

Turkish authorities on Monday demolished the Reina nightclub in Istanbul, which was the site of a deadly gun attack on New Year's revellers.

Authorities say the venue had violated Turkish legislation.

Once the favoured glamorous haunt of the city's elite, the waterside Bosphorus nightclub was the scene of horror in the early hours of January 1 when an Uzbek gunman went on a rampage, killing 39 people, most of them foreigners.

The attack was claimed by Daesh.

The Istanbul municipality said in a statement that a demolition order had been issued because "parts of the entertainment centre violated legislation," without giving details of the infringements. The club never reopened after the carnage.

Completely flattened

Images from the scene showed that the interior of the once famed nightclub had been completely flattened in the demolition.

Just a few upended couches gave any indication as to what the place once was. Only the entry facade had been left intact — there was no immediate indication as to why this was the case.

The suspected gunman Abdulgadir Masharipov, 34, who spent 17 days on the run following the attack, has been held in prison since he was detained in January.

He is due to go on trial along with 56 other suspects in Istanbul on December 11, according to Turkish state media.

Prosecutors have asked that Masharipov be given 40 life sentences — one for each victim and also for seeking to disrupt the constitutional order.

Three jailed accomplices who allegedly helped with planning — Ilyas Mamasharipov, Abdurrauf Sert and Ali Jameel Mohammed – face similar penalties as does his wife Zarina Nurullayeva.

Turkish authorities said Masharipov trained in Afghanistan, adding that he confessed to carrying out the attack during the testimony.

Source: AFP