What Is Istanbul Airport Security Like? This Isn't The First Recent Airport Explosion
According to multiple news outlets, on Tuesday, Istanbul's Atatürk Airport was hit with multiple explosions. A Turkish official said multiple people were injured as a result of the blast, according to an Associated Press report. The official also said it was not clear if the explosions "were caused by bombs or a suicide attack," the Associated Press noted. Reports from Turkish media indicate gunfire was also heard. These reports raise the question: what is Istanbul airport security like? Update: The Associated Press reported that the Istanbul governor said 28 people were killed in the attacks and 60 were wounded. However, a few hours later, a Turkish official said the death toll had risen to nearly 50.
Because Turkey has been plagued with bombings in recent months, the country has stepped up security at many places, including airports, according to a recent report in Al-Monitor. The Turkish government has spent nearly $1 billion on private security services from 2009 to 2015, with nearly $300 million of that being spent last year alone, Al-Monitor noted. Following Tuesday's bombing, CNN aired a report on the significant security measures in place at Istanbul's Atatürk Airport. "It had a police checkpoint at the entrance to the airport compound, and then it had a row of security barriers and metal detectors just to get into either the departures or the arrivals halls," CNN's Ivan Watson said.
In the wake of Tuesday attack, some have spoken of Turkey's relatively high airport security on Twitter. Halah Touryalai, a deputy editor for Forbes, tweeted that "Istanbul airport security screening starts right when you enter the doors. Everyone is required to go through it, not just travelers."
Last December, an explosion at another Turkish airport, Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen Airport, killed one person and caused significant damage. Kurdish rebel group, Freedom Falcons of Kurdistan, claimed responsibility for what they called a "mortar attack." This past April, Delta Airlines suspended New York City-Istanbul flights, which were supposed to start in May, over security concerns.
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