Six people have been killed and 81 injured following an explosion in Istanbul, in what appears to be a bomb attack.
The blast ripped through Istiklal Street in Beyoglu Square, an area popular with tourists in the heart of Turkey’s largest city, at around 4.20pm.
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said that the incident has been deemed a terrorist attack.
“We consider it to be a terrorist act as a result of an attacker, whom we consider to be a woman, detonating the bomb,” Oktay told reporters.
Speaking shortly before departing for Tuesday’s G20 summit in Bali, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan labeled the explosion a “treacherous attack”, insisting that all involved would be located and punished.
No claim of responsibility has been made for the attack so far, but immediate suspicions have fallen on Kurdish separatists and Islamic terrorists, who have been responsible for multiple attacks on Turkey in recent history. The very same street in Istanbul was targeted in 2016 in an attack claimed by Islamic State.
Five prosecutors had been assigned to investigate the explosion, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.