People in Istanbul are trying to make sense of a deadly explosion on Istiklal Street on Sunday afternoon. The explosion killed six people and at least 53 are being treated for injuries. 

“We wish God’s mercy on those who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to the injured,” Governor Ali Yerlikaya stated on Twitter. 

Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has called the explosion an attack, stating that it smells like terrorism.  

“All the responsible figures will be identified and punished,” Erdoğan said.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan | Twitter

Chaos On The Scene

Eye witness Tariq Keblaoui told CNN that he saw people lying on the ground and several others bleeding from their legs and arms.

Another witness told Reuters he couldn’t move when he heard the blast.

“When I heard the explosion, I was petrified; people froze, looking at each other. Then people started running away. What else can you do,” Mehmet Akus, 45, a worker in a restaurant on the street, said to the outlet.

Not The First Time An Explosion Rocked The City

This isn’t the first time an explosion rocked the famous city.  In 2016, a pair of twin bombings outside a soccer stadium killed 38 people, and 155 people were injured in the attack eventually claimed by the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Istiklal Avenue is a popular tourist destination with shops, cafes, restaurants, clubs, and more.

This is a developing story.