Hopes for a more peaceful new year were dashed when a gunman killed at least 35 people in an attack on a popular Istanbul nightclub shortly after midnight on Sunday. In the wake of the attack, many took to social media to share their distress, outrage, sympathy, and support for Turkey's largest city. As "Pray For Istanbul" tributes and memes began to trend on Twitter it became clear just how weary many people have become with the recent surge of violent attacks happening around the world.
At least one gunman dressed in a Santa Claus suit fired on revelers ringing in the new year at Reina, a trendy nightclub in Istanbul's Ortaköy neighborhood, in what the city's governor has called a "terror attack." Initial reports claim at least 35 people have been killed with dozens more injured. An estimated 600 people were believed to have been in the nightclub at the time of the attack.
Although an investigation into the incident is ongoing and many details remain unclear, the deadly attack came as a serious blow to those who had hoped to leave the surge of violent attacks seen in 2016 behind when the clock struck midnight. Under the hashtag #PrayForIstanbul, many social media users called for an end to allowing such violence to continue.
The Worst Beginning Imaginable
No words. The year has begun in the worst way. My heart and my prayers are with you all.. #PrayForIstanbul— Mariana (@evershippers) January 1, 2017
What the actual heck, 2017 barely started and there is a terrorist attack already? So screwed up... what have we become. #PrayForIstanbul 💔— v (@greedybabe_) January 1, 2017
I cannot believe we have to start the new year off by praying for the victims of yet another terrorist attack... #PrayForIstanbul ❤️— Kelly Drislane (@kellydrislane) December 31, 2016
For those weary of the "Pray For" trend that got started in 2016, the shooting at Istanbul's Reina nightclub was a distressing way to welcome 2017.
Is There A Skip Button On This Thing?
2017 is already trash let's skip to 2018 pic.twitter.com/SDbbvsodHN— festive trash ™ (@ObsessiveFand0m) January 1, 2017
More than a few people were into the idea of simply skipping ahead to 2018. I can't say I blame them if Sunday morning's attack is any indication of how the rest of the year might play out.
Just To Say, I Love You
Istanbul, you are one of my favorite places in the world. I love you so pic.twitter.com/Fm9NxJcVgo— Sean O'Pry (@Seanopry55) January 1, 2017
There are no sighs heavy enough.— Maggie Smith (@maggiesmithpoet) January 1, 2017
Love & light to Istanbul.
Many who know and love Istanbul took to Twitter to express their sympathy and support for those affected by Sunday morning's attack.
Symbols Of Sympathy & Support
Some social media users took to Twitter to share illustrated tributes to Istanbul as a means of showing their support.
Consider Making One More New Year's Resolution
Frustrating to think what happened in Istanbul, happened in FL this year too. Please, fit love into your #NYEResolutions for 2017. 🙏🏼— Gabrielle G. (@GabOfGift) January 1, 2017
I think the world needs a New Years resolution to love each other more. 35 killed in Istanbul on NYE by man dressed as Santa? It's too much.— Christian Heimall (@ChrisHeimall) January 1, 2017
New resolution: Help those in need and If you can stope hate,at least in small amount. Still,its enough! #Istanbul— Irma Draskovic (@IrmaPaul_Stefan) January 1, 2017
In the wake of another violent attack, some Twitter users called for adding love and understanding to lists of New Year's resolution.
While "Pray For" tributes and tweets may be great for sharing your support for those affected by violence around the world, Sunday's attack in Istanbul is clear evidence that we need action more than we need Twitter hashtags.