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Irish people in Istanbul advised to 'avoid crowded areas and exercise extreme caution'

It follows a shooting at a nightclub last night.

Ambulances rushing away from the scene of the attack.
Ambulances rushing away from the scene of the attack.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

THE DEPARTMENT OF Foreign Affairs has updated its travel advice for Irish people in Turkey, warning those in Istanbul to stay away from crowded areas.

It follows a shooting at a nightclub last night that left 39 people dead and wounded dozens more.

Turkish authorities said the majority of those killed in the attack were from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Lebanon, and Libya.

Belgium’s foreign ministry has confirmed a Belgian-Turkish dual national was killed in the attack, while Paris said three French nationals were injured.

There are no indications that any Irish people were injured in the attack.

The travel advice for Irish people travelling to Turkey was already to excise a high degree of caution following several terror attacks in 2016, and has been updated further this morning.

The most recent prior to the shooting was a car bomb attack in Kayserie, which killed 13 soldiers and wounded 50 others.

The advice reads:

If you are in Istanbul you should exercise extreme caution at all times, avoid crowded areas and those frequented by foreigners, and continue to follow local security advice and monitor local media.
Citizens throughout Turkey should remain very vigilant and exercise a high degree of caution.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said that any Irish citizens in Istanbul unaffected by the attack should still check in with their families.

“If you need assistance or have concerns, call 00353 1 408 2000 or 0090 312 459 1000,” it added.

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan condemned the attack, and said that “it is particularly heartrending that this attack targeted people on New Year’s Eve, a time when we join together in our hope for a more peaceful future”, while President Michael D Higgins has been in touch with the Turkish ambassador to convey his condolences to the families of the victims and “the best wishes of the Irish people for the recovery of those who have been injured”.

Authorities in Turkey are continuing to the search for the perpetrator of last night’s attack.

Additional reporting by AFP

Read: Search for terrorist who killed 39 during New Year celebrations continues >

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