Turkish football giants Besiktas paid tribute Sunday to 46 people killed in twin bombings near the team’s stadium, as others held commemorations to mark the first anniversary of the attacks.
“The pain is as raw as the first day,” the club said in a statement.
Later Sunday, about 100 people gathered at the Vodafone Park near the stadium and laid wreaths and held a minute’s silence at 22:29 pm (1929 GMT) — the time of the attack, an AFP reporter said.
“How can one fire on and throw bombs at people who ensure our security? How can we live without our police and army? Who will protect us,” said Sadet Firat at the site.
“I hope that this does not happen again, that’s all that I want,” added Ali Ucan.
On December 10 last year, 39 police officers and seven members of the public were killed when two car bombs exploded within seconds of each other in the heart of Istanbul.
The blasts also injured 166 people and were claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), which is seen as a radical offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Most of the victims died when one bomb exploded near a group of police officers who had been deployed near the stadium, where Besiktas had just played fellow Turkish club Bursaspor.
Less than a minute later a suicide bomber blew himself up near a group of police on the other side of the stadium.
“We renew our condolences to the relatives of our fellow citizens martyred by the attack near Vodafone Park,” the club added.
The first anniversary is to be marked by several ceremonies, including a religious service, and a rally in front of the stadium later on Sunday.
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