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German interior minister to visit Turkey

January 13, 2016

Thomas de Maziere will visit Istanbul to meet with his Turkish counterpart following the terrorist attack in the historic center of the city which targeted tourists. Most of the victims of the attack were Germans.

Türkei Anschlag in Istanbul - Polizist vor Hagia Sophia
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/T. Bozoglu

De Maziere will meet with Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala on Wednesday following the terrorist attack in Istanbul that left at least eight German tourists dead.

In an interview with a government spokesperson, DPA news agency reported that de Maziere was going to Turkey to get a sense of what happened.

The suicide bomber set off an explosive device in the area of the city's famed Blue Mosque, killing at least ten people and injuring at least 15 more. Initial reports suggested the attacker was born in Saudi Arabia and linked to the so-called "Islamic State" terrorist group.

Explosion im Instanbuler Stadtteil Sultanamet Karte Infografik ENG

'Enemies of all free people'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the attacks during a press conference. "Today Istanbul was the target, before Paris, Copenhagen, Tunis and so many other areas," Merkel said.

Angela Merkel Thomas de Maiziere PK Asyl Flüchtlinge
Angela Merkel and Interior Minister Thomas de MaziereImage: picture-alliance/dpa/Annegret Hilse

"The terrorists are the enemies of all free people. Indeed, they are enemies of all humanity, whether in Syria or Turkey, in France or Germany," she added.

Berlin issued a travel warning urging all German nationals to avoid crowds and tourist sites in Istanbul.

'A great schock'

Six other Germans, as well as a Norwegian, South Korean and Peruvian were among those injured in the attack.

The Norwegian victim, Jostein Nielsen, said he heard a loud bang and then saw human remains "all over the place." His wife said it was "a great shock," adding that "one does not think that such things will happen when you are sightseeing."

Turkish authorities have assured the German government that everything is being done to treat the wounded.

Nine Germans among 10 killed in Istanbul attack

blc/jm (AFP, dpa)