Turkish flags are draped over a pile of red, and white flowers in the exact spot where a suicide bomber detonated himself just a little over 48 hours ago, killing four tourists and injuring 39 others on Istiklal Boulevard in Istanbul.
“I can’t believe it happened right here,” said Asil, a 29-year-old lawyer, who works in the area, stopping to pay her respects at the makeshift memorial on the way to her office Monday morning.
“I walk this street, right here, every day on my way to work.”
The attack happened at approximately 11:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, typically a quiet time for the usually bustling boulevard, popular among both tourists and locals for shopping and eating. Once the site was cleared, and the streets were reopened, citizens began to gather at the site of the bombing, placing bouquets of flowers, small candles, and signs in several languages condemning terrorism, and paying respect to the victims by showing solidarity with Istanbul, and Turkey.
In French one sign reads, “A few months ago, we were Paris. Today we are Istanbul.”
In Turkish, “We are not afraid. We will not get used to this. We will not be silent.”