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Istanbul Church Attack: an Innocent Killed by Gunmen


One person has been killed after two masked gunmen attacked a church in Istanbul during Sunday Mass. 

The shooting happened at the Church of Santa Maria at roughly 11:40 local time. CCTV footage released by Turkish media companies show worshippers on their feet, facing the altar. This is when two masked gunmen entered the back of the church. They were following another man who had just come in. They shot and killed the man, then left without any further altercations. According to the Istanbul Governor, no other people were injured in the attack. 

The victim was a Turkish national, and the only person that was fired at. The motive of the attack is unclear. 

The church is located close to a small fish market, near the Bosphorus on the European side of the city. The area surrounding the church has been closed off for investigation by the police. 

ISIS has claimed responsibility for their shooting. They released a statement from the ISIS-affiliated news agency - Amaq. In this, they cite a security source from the extremist organisation. In a post on Telegram, the group claimed that two of its fighters had performed the attack and then fled to safety.  

Two masked individuals entered Santa Maria Church in the Sariyer district near Bosphorus 

Investigations are being carried out in full force; “all their resources” were mobilised, said Turkish President Mr. Erdogan. Turkey’s Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc said that “the investigation is being carried out in a multifaceted and meticulous manner”, implying that multiple actors are currently involved. 

Many have displayed their solidarity and support. In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu has said that “We will never allow those who try to disrupt our unity and peace by attacking the places of faith in our country.” The president has also expressed his condolences and stated that the necessary steps are being taken to find the killers as soon as possible. 

The Pope also offered his support at the end of the weekly prayer at the Vatican, expressing his “closeness to the community of the Santa Maria church.” 

Such attacks on the Christian minority are rare in Turkey. 

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