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Reina Nightclub Attacks: Remembering The Innocent Lives Lost In Turkey


By Shreya Jha

An insight into the Reina nightclub attacks in Turkey and the state of despair and sorrow across the world due to increasing terrorism.

On the 1st of January, 2017 when the world was celebrating the ascent of a bright new year, there was gloom and sorrow in Besiktas, a small and beautiful town in Turkey. At about 1:15 AM, a gunman openly fired in night club in Turkey. This left about 39 people killed and more than 70 wounded.

Reina Nightclub Attacks
Reina Nightclub Attacks

Later on it was claimed by the authorities that the gunman was speaking in Arabic which put the blame of the terrorist attack on the notorious terrorist organization the Islamic state of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).

This claim was based on footage of the ISIL soldier on a pro-ISIL telegram account after it was released by the Turkish media.

This night club was a popular spot for wealthy and affluent partygoers. That night, out of several victims, 11 were from Turkey whereas 27 hailed from at least 13 countries. A number of wealthy tourists from different parts of the world had gathered to live a glamorous life as was promised by the club.

The Reina nightclub has two ways by which it can be accessed- by the sea as well as by road. Hovering above the night club is the path which runs across the Bosphorus strait. The beautiful Bosphorus connects the Asia with Europe, the east with the west.

When the gunman entered the nightclub, he started shooting randomly. He shot a lot of people point blank. His target being to shoot as many people dead as he can.

This nightclub was described by ISIS as “gathering points for Christians celebrating their apostate holiday”.

In the recent past, ISIS has been under pressure to organize such mass shooting in Turkey due to disaster in three parallel offensives. These included the western al-Bab offensive, the Kurdish Northern Raqqa offensive and the Iraqi battle of Mosul in Iraq. The Turkish military intervention in Syria has been the major cause of conflict between the ISIL and Turkey.

What remains a pertinent question is for how long will this fight continue? The very mentality of the Islamic terrorist group is flawed. What they try to do is promote hatred between the communities. The increasing fights between the Islamic state and the world powers have resulted in death of millions of innocents.

This attack on the Reina nightclub where innocent lives were lost was just an addition to the growing massacre against the victims of violence and hatred.

The situation remains that number of people have fled their homeland to seek asylum in foreign lands. They have suffered just enough against basic human rights. The paradox is, none of the powerful nations try to better the situation of these migrants. They remain hidden under the veil of diplomacy and flowery speeches made by political representatives.

Meanwhile with the increase in number of ISIS military defeats like killing of 25,000 Islamic fighters in Iraq and Syria by an American bomb, defeat of ISIS fighters by the Kurdish and Iraqi forces, Operation Tidal Wave by American forces which have been believed to cut the oil resources of ISIS by one-third, etc has fuelled the revenge-taking abilities of ISIS. It is threatening for the world at large that an organization which has suffered at large in recent times, will plan to take revenge. It will be matter of great sorrow to see yet another massacre and loss of innocent lives at the hands of a notorious organization.

Even after such an attack, the Turkish government under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivered a mere statement which said that the attack is aimed to create “chaos” and “destabilise” the government.

But why did the government did not make enough effort to prevent the attack, to ensure safety of it’s citizens, why does it fail to be responsible every time? This question has been in light of numerous attacks by the Islamic state on Turkey over the years.

It does not matter for how long it continues, what matters is, in this game of violence, it is the innocent alone who is buried in coffin.

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