- Title: In Istanbul neighbourhood, horror but not surprise over nightclub shooting
- Date: 6th January 2017
- Summary: ISTANBUL, TURKEY (JANUARY 5, 2017) (REUTERS) ZEYTINBURNU NEIGHBOURHOOD AS SEEN THROUGH THE GLASS OF BUSINESS PREMISES PASSERS BY WALKING PAST AS SEEN THROUGH THE GLASS SIGN READING (Arabic): 'GOD MOHAMMED' CHAIRMAN OF THE EAST TURKESTAN MIGRANTS ASSOCIATION, RECEP SADETTIN AKYOL, BEING INTERVIEWED (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) CHAIRMAN OF THE EAST TURKESTAN MIGRANTS ASSOCIATION, RECEP SADETTIN AKYOL, SAYING: "Some of those who arrived have set up separate prayer rooms of their own instead of going to the official mosques. They gave a different education to children. We reported this to authorities." REPORTER ASKING: "What kind of education?" "Religious one. Instead of teaching them Turkish with Latin alphabet or the religion as thought by Turkish religious affairs, they teach them things we don't know." ISTANBUL, TURKEY (JANUARY 1, 2017) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) VARIOUS OF VEHICLES, AMBULANCES AND POLICE OUTSIDE REINA NIGHTCLUB AFTER NEW YEAR'S ATTACK SPECIAL FORCES POLICE OUTSIDE REINA NIGHTCLUB ISTANBUL, TURKEY (JANUARY 5, 2017) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) CHAIRMAN OF THE EAST TURKESTAN MIGRANTS ASSOCIATION, RECEP SADETTIN AKYOL, SAYING: "Apartments are being rented just for the day. You can't tell who's coming in or who's leaving. Nobody informs the local administrators. Therefore, people who are living in the neighbourhood complain." LOCAL ADMINISTRATOR IN ZEYTINBURNU NEIGHBOURHOOD, HUSEYIN SARIYEL, BEING INTERVIEWED (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) LOCAL ADMINISTRATOR IN A ZEYTINBURNU NEIGHBOURHOOD, HUSEYIN SARIYEL, SAYING: "It is very easy, there are hotels, rooms for the day, we hear people convert shops into houses and charge per head for a day or two. How can you prevent it? I don't know. If more authority is given to us we can investigate and take precautions on this." ISTANBUL, TURKEY (JANUARY 4, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF VICTIMS' BELONGINGS LEFT BEHIND INSIDE REINA NIGHTCLUB (NIGHT SHOTS) VARIOUS OF REINA NIGHTCLUB INTERIORS WITH TRACES OF BULLET HOLES ISTANBUL, TURKEY (JANUARY 5, 2017) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) LONG-TERM RESIDENT OF ZEYTINBURNU, TURK OF KAZAKH ORIGIN FORMER JOURNALIST, OSMAN KUMANDAN, SAYING: "They are different... The ones who came recently. You can read a person by looking at his face but the ones who came recently, I say this sincerely they are harsh and somewhat primitive. But it seems they came here deliberately." ISTANBUL, TURKEY (JANUARY 6, 2017) (REUTERS) TRAFFIC DRIVING PAST REINA NIGHTCLUB SIGN READING (English): 'REINA' VARIOUS OF RED CARNATIONS AT MAKESHIFT MEMORIAL OUTSIDE THE CLUB POLICEMAN SPEAKING WITH DRIVER IN CAR PASSING OUTSIDE REINA NIGHTCLUB VARIOUS POLICEMAN AND POLICE VEHICLE OUTSIDE THE CLUB
- Embargoed: 21st January 2017 16:30
- Keywords: Turkey attack selfie gunman gunfire. wounded casualties nightclub gun attack Reina club migrants
- Location: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- City: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0015XY1F0N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL ORIGINALLY SHOT IN PORTRAIT
In a working-class Istanbul neighbourhood that Central Asian migrants have called home for decades, there is horror but scant surprise that a gunman who killed 39 people in a nightclub on New Year's Day may have spent time in their community.
Just beyond the ancient walls on Istanbul's historic peninsula, Zeytinburnu could not be farther removed from the upscale Ortakoy district on the shores of the Bosphorus where the gunman opened fire with an automatic rifle on January 1.
Its bustling streets are full of Kazakh and Uzbek shops and restaurants, their signboards written in Uighur Arabic script. Old men wearing fur-lined caps greet each other as women, some covered from head to toe, browse in shop windows.
Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak has said the gunman is thought to be an ethnic Uighur. He is believed to have travelled by taxi from Zeytinburnu before the shooting and to have returned to a restaurant there afterwards, asking to borrow money to pay the driver. He is still at large.
The restaurant remains open, but several of its employees have been detained.
Many Turks feel strong ethnic and cultural ties with Central Asia and have welcomed the migrants who live alongside them in Zeytinburnu. But some in the community say its fabric has been changing with a new wave of immigration in recent years.
"Some of those who arrived have set up separate prayer rooms of their own instead of going to the official mosques ... they teach them things we don't know," said Recep Sadettin Akyol, 37, chairman of the East Turkestan Migrants Association.
"Apartments are being rented just for the day. You can't tell who's coming in or who's leaving. Nobody informs the local administrators," said Akyol, who is of Kazakh origin but was born and grew up in Istanbul.
The Uighurs are a largely Muslim, Turkic-speaking minority in far western China with significant diaspora communities across Central Asia and Turkey.
East Turkestan is a name they use for part of China's western Xinjiang region from where hundreds, possibly thousands, fleeing what rights activists say is religious persecution have travelled clandestinely to Turkey in recent years.
Beijing denies restricting their religious freedoms and blames Islamist militants, including those it says come from a group called the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), for a rise in violence in Xinjiang in which hundreds have died.
It says some end up fighting with militants in Iraq and Syria, and on a trip to China last September, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan vowed deeper counter-terrorism cooperation.
"There are hotels with rooms for the day, people convert shops into houses and charge per head. If more authority is given to us we can investigate and take precautions," said Huseyin Sariyel, an administrator in one of the local neighbourhoods.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the nightclub attack, saying it was revenge for Turkish military involvement in Syria. Security sources believe the gunman, who they describe as well-versed in guerrilla warfare, may be a national of a Central Asian country and may have trained in Syria.
It would not be the first time that an assailant with such a profile had carried out an attack in the region.
Like other long-term residents of Zeytinburnu, former journalist Osman Kumandan, a 65-year-old Turk of Kazakh origin, is wary of some of the district's more recent arrivals.
"The ones who came recently... are harsh and somewhat primitive. But it seems they came here deliberately," he said.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None