No Pinoy casualty in Istanbul bombing

People lay flowers at a makeshift memorial for the victims of the 13 November explosion at the busy shopping street of Istiklal in Istanbul on 14 November 2022. (Photo by YASIN AKGUL / AFP)

The Department of Foreign Affairs on Monday said no Filipino was hurt in the recent terror attack in Istanbul, Turkey, that left at least eight people dead and 81 others wounded.

“The Philippine Embassy in Ankara and the Philippine Consulate General in Istanbul express their condolences to the families of those who lost their lives at the explosion in Istanbul yesterday,” the DFA said in a statement.

It added: “So far, the Embassy and Consulate General have not received any report of Filipino casualties.”

The DFA, through its Embassy and Consulate General in Turkey, said it will continue to monitor the situation and report any development accordingly.

There are an estimated 3,000 Filipinos in Istanbul, according to Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Tess Daza. “This figure includes household service workers, spouses of Turkish nationals, expats working in foreign companies, and English teachers.”

The powerful explosion ripped through a busy Istanbul shopping street on Sunday. Police cordoned off an area around Istiklal, where there were dense crowds on Sunday afternoon, and helicopters flew over the city center as sirens sounded.

Turkey’s interior minister accused the Kurdistan Workers’ Party of responsibility.

The PKK, blacklisted as a terrorist group by Ankara as well as its Western allies, has kept up a deadly insurgency for Kurdish self-rule in southeastern Turkey since the 1980s.

“The person who planted the bomb has been arrested,” interior minister Suleyman Soylu said in a statement broadcast by the official Anadolu news agency.

Regularly targeted by Turkish military operations, the group is also at the heart of a tussle between Sweden and Turkey, which has been blocking Stockholm’s entry into NATO since May, accusing it of leniency toward the PKK. (With AFP)

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