Singapore condemns attack on New Year’s Eve celebration in Istanbul – no Singaporean affected or injured

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Concerning the New Year's Day night club attack in Istanbul, Turkey, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) informed that so far there has been no reports of any Singaporeans directly affected or injured.

"Singapore condemns the attack at the Reina Club in the Ortakoy district in Istanbul on 1 January 2017 which has resulted in the loss of many lives and injuries. We extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wish those injured a speedy recovery," MFA stated.

A spokesman said on Saturday (1 Jan), the Singapore Embassy in Ankara is working closely with the local authorities, that it has reached out to Singaporeans e-Registered in the city.

The Guardian reported Istanbul is on high alert after an Arab speaking gunman dressed as Santa opened fire in one of the most popular nightclubs in Istanbul at a New Year’s Eve celebration, killing 39 people and wounding 69.

The interior minister, Süleyman Soylu, has said the attacker is still on the loose. Earlier government reports stated there was a lone gunman who was killed by police.

Istanbul’s governor, Vasip Sahin, said, “At 1.15am, a terrorist carrying a long-barrelled weapon martyred the police officer waiting outside, and then martyred another citizen to enter.”

“He then carried out this violent and cruel act by spraying bullets on innocent people who were celebrating the new year,” Gov Sahin said.

Turkey has endured a lot of terror attacks over the past year by Islamic State militants, as well as by Kurdish separatist groups. Just three weeks ago a double bombing outside the football stadium in the district of Besiktas killed 46 people, most of them police officers, two hours after a football match.

It is still unclear how many assaulter in the attack, the authorities initially said one gunman entered the club and was later killed by police, yet witness testimony in Turkish media appeared to describe more than one attacker, heightening fears that at least one other gunman remained on the loose.

A netizen, Nagarajan K, posted on his Facebook the report of Dogan news agency that some witnesses claimed the attackers were speaking Arabic while NTV broadcaster said special force police officers were still searching the nightclub.

Local media reported scenes of chaos in the club, including people jumping into the Bosphorus to evade the attacker.

A 2015 image of the Rein nightclub / photo: The Guardian/STRINGER/Reuters

A 2015 image of the Rein nightclub / photo: The Guardian

Singaporeans in Turkey are advised to be observant, follow the local news and attend to instructions from local authorities. They are also urged to keep in touch with their family and friends, to inform their safety.