1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul's historic district.
Image: DW/A. Lekas Miller

German victims flown home

January 16, 2016

The remains of 10 German victims killed in Tuesday's terror attack in Istanbul have been flown home for burial. Turkish authorities have detained seven suspects in connection with the attack.


The bodies of those killed in Tuesday's suicide attack in the Turkish city of Istanbul were given a somber send-off. A 10-car cortege carrying the coffins wound its way through the city, from the morgue at a forensic medicine institute to the city's main airport, Ataturk International, where they were placed on an aircraft and flown back to Germany for burial.

Another 17 people, mostly German tourists, were wounded in Tuesday's attack near the famed Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, a towering former Byzantine church that was turned into a mosque before later becoming a museum.

Suspects detained

Seven suspects have been detained in connection with the attacks, according to Interior Minister Efkan Ala. Turkish authorities have identified the suicide bomber as a 28-year-old Syrian who entered Turkey on January 5 posing as a migrant fleeing the country's civil war.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the man was a member of 'Islamic State' (IS), however, 'IS' has not claimed responsibility for the attack. Still, Davutoglu warned against seeing all migrants as potential terrorists, which he said would play into the hands of the extremists.

A mourner places a red rose in the railing at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul to remember the victims of Tuesday's attack.
A memorial at the Blue Mosque in IstanbulImage: picture-alliance/dpa/S. Suna

Millions of refugees in Turkey

Turkey is currently hosting around 2.2 million refugees who have fled the fighting in Syria.

The government in Ankara has often been criticized by its Western allies for not doing enough to combat 'IS' jihadists who have seized large swathes of territory across the border in Syria and Iraq.

Turkey was hit by three attacks blamed on 'IS' in 2015, including a double suicide bombing in October in Ankara that killed 103 people, the country's worst-ever attack.

All those attacks targeted pro-Kurdish groups, who are vehemently opposed to 'IS.'

Tuesday's attack, however, was the first time that foreign visitors have been targeted in Istanbul.

bik/jlw (AFP, AP)

Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

Click here to watch King Charles' speech

King Charles lauds German-UK relations in Bundestag speech

Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage