Joined: 25 Oct 2003
| Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2003 1:35 pm Post subject: [E] Istanbul - Blasts also dammaged Armenian community
|ISTANBUL HIT BY NEW BLASTS
Nov 20 2003
ISTANBUL, NOVEMBER 20, ARMENPRESS: Two blasts rocked Istanbul on
Thursday, killing at least 15 people and devastating both the HSBC
Bank headquarters and British consulate in an apparent suicide attack,
foreign news agencies reported.
ITurkish television, quoting city health officials, said that besides
the 15 killed, 320 people were injured. British Foreign Secretary Jack
Straw was quoted by Reuters as saying that the strikes bore "all the
hallmarks of the international terrorism operations practiced by al
Qaeda and associated organizations."
IThe blasts were the second such strike in Turkey in five days.
According to Turkey's interior minister, there is a connection with
weekend attacks on two Istanbul synagogues that killed 25.
ITurkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, visiting Sweden, said Turkey
would not bow to terror. "Everyone must know that we will not give
up to terror," he said in Stockholm.
IThe attacks could deal a tremendous blow to a Turkish economy only
now struggling from recession and facing still huge debt repayments
over the next year. A tenuous return of foreign investment could be
put at risk by any continued atmosphere of danger.
IThe blasts have also heavily damaged several Armenian organizations
and Armenian-owned companies in Istanbul- an Armenian church, located
in the central part of Istanbul, known as Pera, editorial offices of
Armenian-language newspapers Zhamanak and Marmara. Ara Gochunian,
the chief editor of Zhamanak told Armenpress by the phone that
no Armenians were identified among the victims of the blasts. The
Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul is said to be in constant contacts
with law-enforcement bodies to collect information about the community
members and their property.