Map: Turkey’s Escalating Terror Crisis
The Istanbul Airport bombing was the 14th attack in Turkey over the last year
The suicide blasts at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport on Tuesday, which killed dozens and injured more than 200, were just the latest in a series of bombings across Turkey, which have become increasingly more focused on tourists.
After an ISIS-linked suicide blasts killed 10 people in Istanbul last January, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “Turkey is the first target of all terrorist groups.” The statement has only become more true as both ISIS and Kurdish separatists groups have amped up attacks. The majority of these bombings have devastated popular tourism areas, taking a major toll on the Turkish economy, as a tourism contributes to about 12 percent to the country’s GDP.
In the past, Turkey mostly had to worry about attacks from the separatist groups, but as the Syrian civil war has intensified, Turkey has taken more action against its volatile neighbor. Last year, Turkey enforced stronger border patrol, making it much more difficult for ISIS to leave Syria and travel into Europe. Turkey also began seeking out terrorism cells and began collaborating with the United States with air strikes in Syria.
ISIS has responded by hitting Turkey where it hurts the most. Here’s a glimpse at the horrific impact the Islamic State and separatist groups have had on the nation over the last year.