How common are IS terrorist attacks in Turkey?

Turkey officials believe Tuesday attack at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport was orchestrated by the Islamic State. If ISIS claims credit, it will be the third Islamic State-linked attack since the start of the year.

Goran Tomasevic/Reuters
Men greet each other in front of Turkish flag and picture of modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk at Istanbul Ataturk airport, Turkey, following Tuesday's deadly explosion which left 41 dead and more than 200 wounded.

The death toll following the triple suicide bombing in Istanbul's Ataturk Airport Tuesday continued to rise overnight. The most recent reports say that 41 people were killed and more than 200 wounded when three militants fired guns and eventually detonated suicide bombs. The Turkish government has said that they believe that the Islamic State is responsible.

That would make Tuesday's bloodshed the third large-scale attack by Islamic State militants in Istanbul since the start of 2016. The violence targeted the international terminal of the airport, and the government has said that at least 10 of the 41 dead were foreign nationals, while three were dual citizens.

Foreigners have made up a large proportion of the victims in previous ISIS-linked attacks in Istanbul this year.

On Jan. 12, a suicide bombing rocked Istanbul's historic Sultanahmet Square, a hub of tourism and history within the city. That attack left a dozen Germans dead, the AP reports. The attacker, the government said at the time, was a registered Syrian refugee.

On March 19, central Istanbul was hit again in another IS-linked suicide bombing, leaving five dead and dozens wounded – again the majority of the victims and many of the injured were not Turkish nationals, The Guardian reported at the time. However, the government identified that attacker as a Turkish citizen with ties to IS.

The country faced its most deadly terrorist attack last fall, after 102 people were killed by suicide bombers at a peace rally in the capital Ankara. The government also considered ISIS to be responsible, although there was no claim of responsibility from the group or evidence presented.

Turkey, which shares a long border with Syria, has been the main point of entry or passage for refugees leaving civil war and fleeing IS, either to stay in Turkey or continue to Europe. The border also allows ISIS militants and ideology to enter the country.

The country faces dual security concerns, externally from ISIS and Kurdish rebels looking for autonomy within the country, and members of Turkish President Erdogan's administration have said that anti-terrorism is a top priority.

"They are asking us when the anti-terror operations will end. I am announcing hereby that operations will end when all our citizens are safe," Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said in May.

Apart from causing loss of life and injury, attacks in recent months have devastated the tourism economy, which is expected to fall by at least 40 percent.

Material from the Associate Press was used in this report.

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