Governor claims Istanbul is ‘among safest cities in the world’
ISTANBULIstanbul remains among the safest cities in the world, despite escalating regional risks and a series of terrorist attacks in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin claimed on Sept. 6.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Istanbul Finance Summit (ISF16), Şahin said Istanbul was as at risk of terrorism as any other major global city.
“Although Istanbul seems like a risky place due to the region we are in, the fact that terror is globalizing and threatening the whole world means that Istanbul is no more at risk than other cities,” he said.
“Although uneasiness in our region presents a little more risk, we are less at risk than it looks in common perception. As administrators of the city, we take our measures by perceiving this risk at its highest level.
Today, probably the most extensive security unit in the world serves in Istanbul and Turkey in terms of intelligence and physical security measures,” Şahin added.
He also stressed that there was a nine-percent drop in public order incidents in Istanbul last year.
“There was a nine-percent decrease in public order incidents in Istanbul in 2015 compared to the previous year. Istanbul also remains among the world’s safest cities in general metropolis comparisons,” Şahin said.
Over the past year, Turkey’s biggest city has been hit by a series of attacks with some blamed on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadist group and some on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
On Jan. 12, 11 German tourists were killed and another 16 people were wounded in an ISIL suicide attack in the city’s historic Sultanahmet neighborhood. On March 19, three Israelis and one Iranian were killed and dozens were injured in an another suicide attack by the jihadist group. On June 7, seven police officers and four civilians were killed in a bomb attack on a police vehicle claimed by the outlawed Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), a group linked to the PKK. On June 28, 44 people were killed and hundreds were wounded in a triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport with evidence pointing to an ISIL attack.