Turkey wedding blast: Death toll jumps to 50
The death toll from a terror attack on a wedding ceremony in southeastern Turkey has risen to 50, the regional governor’s office said.
According to Anadolu Agency, the attack took place in the Beybahce neighborhood of the Gaziantep province’s Sahinbey district around 10.50 p.m. (1950GMT) on Saturday, according to a Gaziantep Governor’s Office statement.
“Fifty of our citizens lost their lives as of today in a terror bomb attack carried out in our province on August 20, 2016,” it said.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
Speaking to reporters in Gaziantep Sunday, Health Minister Recep Akdag said there were 73 people undergoing treatment from the attack, including 17 in critical condition.
The condition of the bride and groom – Besna and Nurettin Akdogan – was not critical, but treatment is still underway, said hospital sources, speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking with the media.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the attack in a statement. “Those who cannot overcome Turkey and try to provoke people by exploiting ethnic and sectarian sensitivities will not prevail,” he said.
“I want to underline one more time, for our country and nation, that there is no difference between FETO, the perpetrator of the July 15 armed coup attempt and the 240 citizens we lost that night, the PKK, the killer of 70 of our security forces – soldiers, police, and village guards – in just the last month, and Daesh, the possible perpetrator of the Gaziantep attack,” he added.
In a statement, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim condemned the bomb attack and vowed to combat terror, saying it had made a wedding ceremony into an occasion for mourning.
“No matter what the name of this villainous terror that meant [the loss of] innocence and life, the state, government, and nation will continue our determined fight against it,” said Yildirim.
Semih Yalcin, deputy chair of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), says that Turkey has faced a series of planned, intentional attacks.
“These terror attacks orchestrated by global powers target the unity and integrity of the Turkish nation and the stability of Turkey,” said Yalcin in a statement.
The wedding took place on a street, a common practice in southern Turkey, especially during the summer.