I love Istanbul. After two fantastic visits there, I feel at home in its hillsides, streets, quaint shops, ferry boats and cafes. My Turkish is slight but the hospitality I have experienced from the warm locals has made up for that. I guarantee that I have eaten from one end of the city to the other! I also love Turkish Airlines which I have used to connect through Istanbul. Istanbul comes in at Number 30 on my Top 200 cities over 100,000 people!
On both occasions, I stayed not far from Istanbul’s’ most famous shopping street: İstiklal Avenue, I have walked up and down the street many times, shopped and eaten there. This is me standing outside one of my favourite sweets shops on that avenue!
So it was with dismay, that I watched the coverage of the latest Turkish bombing, the fourth suicide bombing this year.
The suicide bomber detonated the explosives at 1055am on Saturday 19 March on İstiklal Avenue, about ten minutes walk from where I am standing.
Of the five people that died, one was a child. 36 people were injured, seven severely. Two of those injured were also kids. The victims came from 12 countries, with a third of them being tourists.
I pray for peace for Turkey and hope to still return to Istanbul soon.