Ataturk Airport Attack: Population 'still very much shaken,' says Istanbul journalist

Ataturk Airport Attack: Population 'still very much shaken,' says Istanbul journalist

The crowds gathered outside Ataturk Airport after the attack

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Journalist Lance Santos has explained how the population of Istanbul are reeling from this latest attack on Turkish soil. 

Yesterday (Tuesday) Ataturk airport, the city's main travel hub, came under a triple suicide bombing attack from suspected Islamic State militants. The attackers opened fire outside and inside the Terminal 2 building before detonating their explosives, killing at least 41 people and injured an estimated 239 more. 

Santos, a freelance journalist based in the city, told listeners about the general mood of the population following the attack.

"They're still very much shaken," he told Julia Hartley-Brewer. "The mood here is very sombre. A lot of shops are still closed, the streets are less busy. 

"People are just avoiding it if they can in case of repeat attacks. 

"They're resilient – they have a lot more attacks than we're used to, but they're still very upset by an attack which has hit them so hard."

The broadcaster explained why this attack was particularly terrifying for them. 

"It's hit really close to home because the airport is a place which is supposed to be secured," he explained. "From personal experience of going to this airport, it is on par with Heathrow.

"You can't get into the arrivals hall without going through metal scanners. 

"I think people are now worried they could be hit anywhere, anytime, no matter what the security is like."

Concerns are also rising for the tourist industry in the country, which has already suffered as a result of the threats Turkey faces.

"Tourism was already damaged severely from previous terrorist attacks," he said. "It's also the travel warnings put in place by the UK and US. The industry's gone down by a third.

"All of the tourist spots, the coastlines, the hotels are empty. 

"The shop-owners and people who normally rely on this trade have been severely affected."