All precautions taken for celebrations on New Year’s Eve: Istanbul governor
Authorities have taken all security precautions for the residents of Istanbul to celebrate New Year’s Eve, Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin has said, adding that Istanbul police will be deployed to guard specific places too.
“We have taken all precautions for our citizens to spend the New Year’s Eve in the best way possible. We have also warned entertainment venues which have their own security personnel to take precautions there,” Şahin told reporters on Dec. 28 in front of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (İTO) building in the Eminönü district.
“New Year’s Eve does not just have a security dimension. Additionally, every kind of precaution has been taken in the matters of health, traffic, and other issues. All of our institutions have been warned regarding the matter and they have also made plans in their own areas,” Şahin said.
The governor also said that 37,000 police officers and 4,000 gendarmerie officers will be on duty on New Year’s Eve in Istanbul for people to celebrate the night in a “peaceful way.”
Local authorities on Dec. 20 banned New Year’s Eve celebrations in Istanbul’s famous Taksim Square, citing security concerns. On Dec. 25, the Beşiktaş Municipality - situated in the heart of the city - said New Year’s Eve activities planned to be held at the Barbaros Square in the district would not be allowed, again over security concerns and the district’s limited capacity.
The Şişli Municipality followed suit, banning celebrations in public spaces, it said in a statement on Dec. 27.
Security measures in the Beyoğlu district have also been doubled up in preparation for New Year’s Eve.
The security measures are being taken before the first anniversary of a bloody attack on Istanbul’s Reina nightclub, when at least 39 people, including a police officer, were killed and 79 people were injured when 34-year-old Uzbek citizen Abdulkadir Masharipov opened fire on revelers at the nightclub in the Ortaköy neighborhood in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2017.
Of the 39 killed, 27 were foreigners including citizens from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iraq and Morocco, who had gone to the club to celebrate the new year.