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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 November, 2003, 10:46 GMT
Turkey car bombs: Your reaction
At least 15 people have been killed by separate explosions near two synagogues in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

The blasts rocked Istanbul's largest synagogue, the Neve Shalom, in Beyoglu district and another synagogue nearby, shattering windows and wrecking cars.

Turkish officials said both explosions were caused by car bombs.

A radical Turkish Islamist group known as IBDA/C is reported to have claimed responsibility for both blasts.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:

Through such monstrous act, the terrorist organisations are trying to obtain some think from the Turkish Government. What? I do not know. But I sincerely hope that the Turkish Government, as well as any other, will stay steadfast and will not betray those, Jewish or Muslim, who lost their lives in this attack.
Mehmet, Turkey

To have a peace, we have to get rid of all kind of military from Middle East
Gokmen Demirkaya, Turkey
I condemn all the terrorist and military activities against humanity. We want peace in Middle East and all around the world. The UN should stop all the military activities in the Middle East, USA and UK should stop the invasion of Iraq, Israel must stop the attacks against Palestinians. To have a peace, we have to get rid of all kind of military from Middle East. Finally, my condolences are with the families who lost their precious loved ones.
Gokmen Demirkaya, Turkey

I was horrified when I heard the news about the Istanbul's two cars blasts. I was shocked to hear that those blasts happened in a country where Jews , Christian and Muslims are living together in harmony. I hope for all the governments all over the world to hit terrorism spots in their countries with a mighty force and mighty will. Terrorism is evil in its core and we should fight it to its end. My condolences to the families of the dead victims and God rest their souls
Ehab Shallaby, Egypt

I am a Canadian who lives and works in Ankara. Although there is a lot of anti-Israeli sentiment in this country, people here are shocked and outraged by this attack. I suspect that it was carried out in Istanbul because Turkey is relatively peaceful country, and that those who perpetrated this crime rightly assumed that people's guard would be down. This act simply does not jibe with the climate here, which has been fairly easy-going over the past year despite tensions in the region. I am appalled by the indiscriminate quality that increasingly seems to characterizes these attacks. I hope that the Muslim world wakes up and finally repudiates these killers who presume to carry out their atrocities on their behalf. Until this happens, nothing will change.
Jennifer Terni, Turkey

Please add my name to the growing list of Muslims who categorically denounce this lunacy. I refuse to accept that the killing of these Jews is conducted in the true name of Islam. (Recall that the Koran accepts that Jews practise their religion in liberty, and it is accordingly criminal to target their houses of worship.) Furthermore, such terrorist acts are increasingly killing Muslim civilians. Be the victims Jews or Muslims, I dare ask the perpetrators, what really is your point, what sincerely is your cause, and are you really getting closer to your goals?
Daniel Ahmad, Canada

This was the deed of Evil, not of Islam or anything else
Levent Keskin, Istanbul, Turkey
I live just a few hundreds of meters away from one of the two locations of synagogue bombing. This was the deed of Evil, not of Islam or anything else. I sense that the incidents gave rise not only to the loss of souls, but at the same to the loss of morale. I feel really bad. I am a Muslim, but I really detest such likes of dedicated Muslims.
Levent Keskin, Istanbul, Turkey

If recent attacks in Kenya, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and now Turkey are clear evidence of the need for the World community to join together and rebut the fear-mongers and terrorists who are trying to push us into a religious jihad. The cowards that perpetrate these heinous acts have no country, no citizenship and more importantly no humanity. The very fact that their targets are ordinary civilians and innocent children more than proves that they also possess no soul. God, Allah or whoever you believe to be the supreme ruler of all living things would never condone such atrocities. There is no reward but one would hope that there will be justice. I will not live in fear and I will strive to make my little part of the globe an example of what peace and tolerance can achieve.
Gord Higham, Canada

I am really sorry for the loss of so many precious lives in the name of Islam. Being a Muslim I think it is a disgrace to claim a criminal act like this. In my opinion these terrorists are not doing any good for Muslims, but only bring hatred in the mind of non-Muslims about my pure religion, Islam.
Taban, UK

We are all bound together as citizens of Turkey
Metin Bulut, Croatia
Turkey, especially the city of Istanbul, has many cultures, languages, religions, nationalities inside. They all enjoy freedom of diversity in a unified manner. Jews are part of this colourful society for many centuries and they will remain so forever. We are all bound together as citizens of Turkey. Their sorrow is our sorrow and we will never forget this act of crime committed against Jews, Turkey and humanity. We will be much more unified than before. We condemn all those terrorist acts in the world wherever it happens.
Metin Bulut, Croatia

Terrorism causes devastation to the lives and property of innocents all the time. I hope western countries see this and stop supporting terrorism and unite against all forms of violent acts. Unfortunately, terrorist organisations from all over the world find refuge in EU and western countries in order to finance and organise their evil acts. All must understand that no terrorist is a freedom fighter or is fighting for wider liberalism and human rights. They are only killing and we must all unite against this evil. Deepest condolences for those who died and sympathies for all Turkish Jews, they are part of us and shall stay part of us.
Nuri, Turkey

Turkey is known as the country where you can find a Mosque, a Church and a Synagogue aligned on the same street. Islam is not a religion of hatred, and it is against any such act targeted against civilians. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) instructed every Muslim to fight against only those who fight you with their swords, and never an innocent civilian - whether Muslim or other, whether your neighbour or your enemy. The bombs in Turkey are not justified and were carried out blindly, killing more Muslims that anybody else!
Lara, France

No organization can divert us from living peacefully with our brothers and sisters
Ibrahim, Turkey
We are all saddened by the terrorist act that some extremists are trying to create chaos in Turkey and all over the world. Unfortunately, again many innocent people have suffered. All I want to clarify is that no organization can divert us from living peacefully with our brothers and sisters.
Ibrahim, Turkey

I think it is important to realise that terrorism is the sum of many evils. It is poverty, unemployment, religious frustration, cultural frustration, and unscrupulous politics by the stronger countries aimed to serve their own interests at the expense of others. Despite the heterogeneous motivations underlying the terror phenomenon there is the common denominator of marginalization and injustice. Whose fault is it? America can go on blaming the axis of evil, and the other side blaming the imperialistic terror. The rest of the world can pick positions somewhere in between, but fact is that in order for terrorism to diminish, a long-term policy of understanding and mutual international respect must be established with painstaking persistence.
Dimitris, Greece

I'm in the UK but my fiancée is in Istanbul he was hurt in the blast. For two days I was unable to contact him. Today I have spoken to him he is in hospital with a back injury but luckily he is ok. A very worrying two days for me and my family. Not such good news for the families of those killed and can't be contacted. My heartfelt sympathy to them.
Angela Orvis, UK

I find it unbelievable that people never fail to blame Bush or the US for every terror attack that happens. Every terrorist attack turns into another opportunity to pontificate not on the moral bankruptcy of the terrorists but of how "wrong" Bush's policies are. How about blaming the people who decide and plan the murder of innocent civilians? It's time people woke up.
Garry Cobb, USA

Why does the UN not do anything?
Uri D, Israel
What else should happen until all responsible governments will unite against these suicide bombings? Why does the UN not do anything? Do the atrocities of NY, Bali, Bombay, Riyadh, Haifa and Istanbul (just to name a few) not deserve any security council resolution for labelling such acts as crimes against humanity? Does the UN deal only with narrow interests and not with such major human issues?
Uri D, Israel

Unfortunately it was obvious from the start that the Iraq war would spread the middle east conflict - we are now witnessing the beginning.
Tom, England

The events in Turkey only highlight the fact that things have got worse since September 11. I think it's about time the world leaders of all faiths come together, rather than let Bush make the problems worse.
Naeem Hashmi, Uni of Warwick, England

My condolences and prayers are with Turkey at this difficult time. The Turks are wonderful people and do not deserve this. I am saddened by this. What were the attackers trying to achieve?
James Elston, England

Car bombs or any form of attack on civilians is the most shameful act anyone conducts, regardless of religious believes. My condolences with victims of the blast. Killing innocent people doesn't justify any cause; it rather destroys the peaceful solutions to the problem.
Amir, Chicago, IL, USA

Are we returning to the terror of religious wars, where 'my God is better than yours?' Or can we live in a world where the dignity of differences is understood, admired and welcomed? God rest their souls.
Stephen, UK

Turkey is a peaceful country. We have been living with Jewish people for centuries and we are brothers and sisters. There is only one thing to be understood. Hate does not prevent terrorism and every aggressive move made by Bush and Sharon causes hate.
Ali, Turkey

How can those involved really believe this is what will invoke sympathy to their cause
Andy Boyns, Istanbul, Turkey
Disintegration of lives through terrorism is nothing short of cowardice. Criminal acts of violence like this are made to cause immediate impact followed by shock and horror. How can those involved really believe this is what will invoke sympathy to their cause, whatever it may be? I am reading "The Sum of All Fears" by Tom Clancy who is a well renowned for his writing on terrorism. It is interesting that the act which evokes greatest response in this book is when the people sit in silence and peaceful protest to draw attention of the world. What a great lesson to learn.
Andy Boyns, Istanbul, Turkey/(British)

Cold blooded killers who live on hatred have struck in the heart of Istanbul. Turks of all convictions are in mourning today.
Evren Ors, Turkey

Turks and Jews have lived together as friends for over five centuries. Nothing will damage this harmonious relation. Jews in Turkey are as safe as any place on Earth. Certainly safer then they are in Israel. God bless the soul of the dead.
Ahmet Cavusoglu, Turkey

I condemn the creatures who have carried out such an attack and hope the world will be able to unite against all sorts of terror. It is very sad to see the Neve Shalom Synagogue, which I have been to several times, in this state. I hope the number of dead people does not increase and they will be able to find out the people responsible from organising this terror attack. Let's condemn and stand against any group with any motive, using terrorist means to achieve their end.
Ekmel Cizmecioglu, Belgium

As Turkey struggles to appease it countrymen and Muslims around the world by not sending troops to Iraq, terrorists commit another own goal, for once Muslim countries must stand united against terrorism and show this is not the real face of Islam. My sympathy goes out to the families of those murdered whilst at prayer.
Elliott Adam, France

I think these blasts are related to the Middle East. Today is Saturday and the anniversary of the foundation of Palestine. This is a suicide attack like you see in the Middle East.
Kaan Mert, Turkey

Turkey and Israel have shared a close and warm relationship for many years. The extremists who committed this crime against Allah/God do not represent the Turkish Nation.
Paul Barnes, UK

Turkey is a country in which people with different beliefs and nationalities live together in peace. Therefore, I condemn those who in a holy month as Ramadan attack innocent people and refuse to understand that they harm HUMAN BEINGS.
Ciler, UK

We are friends. We are neighbours. No matter which religion or colour
Ruhsar, Turkey,
We are friends. We are neighbours. No matter which religion or colour. Turkey is bleeding and crying for her citizens. Remember 9/11 and Iraq. You can not stop terror with guns.
Ruhsar, Turkey, Istanbul

We must look at the people committing these acts as vengeful people who are out to get revenge for the crimes committed against them. The world must realise that fighting with these people is not the solution. Rather, the solution is to put an end to what these people perceive to be the crime and injustice against them.
Luqman, USA

Turkey is NOT an Islamic state but rather a secular republic in which religion is strictly separated from the state. It's true that the current government as Islamic roots but it still respects the tradition of the Republic. Such attacks are an abomination. Yes, Israeli and American policy are perhaps undesirable, but there's really no excuse to blow up civilians for the sake of any political aim.
Ahmet, United Kingdom/Istanbul Turkey

Unfortunately, it takes terrorist acts such as today's attack in Istanbul and the attack in Riyadh for people to realize that those behind these kind of attacks add nothing to the dialogue for peace. Only a concerted world-wide effort to eradicate these groups, from Riyadh to Casablanca to Ramallah, will prevent this from happening again.
Djm, Switzerland

The solution must come from within; fundamental reformation not fundamentalism is the way forward. In a struggle between an insular, closed, regressive system and a dynamic, striving expansive culture there can only be one winner.
Steve Maloney, UK

I want someone to show me anywhere in any religious book where is says that killing innocent people is justified. And what of the holy month of Ramadan? Does it mean nothing to these people? When will it all stop?
Shane, England

This and other outrages are in part due to governments becoming more confrontational. Whether they like it or not they need to show that any kind of violence does not resolve issues. And if nothing else, they need to look at the claims of these terrorist groups to see if, in part, they are justified and work forward on the basis that just because they have the political power they are not automatically in the right.
Martin Woodrow, UK

Another shameful act by a small minority
Lee, UK
Another shameful act by a small minority. It's sad that events like this will undoubtedly cause more anti-Muslim feeling in the west. I was in Turkey on September 11 and the Turkish people were equally appalled by it as we were in the UK. I know the Turkish people of course will be equally appalled by this event too. Only through understanding and respect for each others cultures can bring an end to this meaningless suffering.
Lee, UK

Firstly I offer my condolences to those families who have lost loved ones. It is a shocking and terrible thing to happen. The Jewish community in Istanbul have good relations with their neighbours and it shows that fanatics will stoop to such horrific lengths to achieve their aims. People who indirectly blame Bush and Blair for these crimes are very misguided - these Islamic groups will have attempted to try and achieve their aims regardless of who is power. Those in the Arab world who support terrorism should stop and think about what happened this morning and should be ashamed of their actions.
Martin Ashton, London UK

Terror is morally indefensible regardless of circumstances. It is evil, and the moral responsibility is entirely that of the terrorists and their supporters. This remains true, whatever Sharon, Bush, or Blair do. That said, fighting terror effectively is a battle on many fronts, and requires a great deal of sophistication as well as resolve. Bush's policies are not wrong in a moral sense, but they are nonetheless wrong.
Guy, UK

As our former president Suleyman Demirel said "Terror does not have a religion, a belief, or a book"
Cem Sinirlioglu, United States
This is an outrage. These acts of violence serve no purpose whatsoever and have no justification. The people that died in the incidents today, were Muslims and Jews, they died side by side. If any message was indeed sent out today it was that these people of different faiths stand side by side against terror. As our former president Suleyman Demirel said "Terror does not have a religion, a belief, or a book"
Cem Sinirlioglu, United States

This is absolutely contrary to the teachings of Islam, which specifically calls for the protection of its Christian and Jewish communities and respect for their houses of worship.
AQ Spiker, UK

There is an old Chinese saying: "Every man must chain his own dogs." In other words, it is not enough to condemn such acts and distance oneself from them, the fellow countrymen and co-religionists of the attackers need to make every effort to deal with these criminals.
If every state and religious group to took serious steps to control the extremists hiding in their ranks, rather than waiting for some outside power to do so, the world would be a far safer place.
Mike Smith, UK

What a shameful day for humanity. I hate to see these innocent dead people. Istanbul is my hometown, I have never seen her as such a dangerous place before.
Aytac Eken, Canada

Another ghastly bomb in yet another country, but while good people wring their hands it becomes abundantly clear that the solution lies in dealing with the Arab/Israeli stalemate. Unfortunately the USA does not seem to realise this fact, or wants to ignore it. And so the fundamental reason for Islamic militancy is not dealt with.
Jon Kent, England

My heart cries whenever humans die at the hands of other humans. No country is safe from these cowardly, inhumane acts. This is not America's war on terror, but the world's war on terror.
Hamza Sheikh, USA

More proof, if any was required, that the real reason for suicide bombings in Israel is not Israeli government policy, but the hatred of Jews. The despicable rise in worldwide anti-Semitism must be stopped immediately. All the warning signs are there, and it seems the world has already forgotten the events of just 60 years ago.
Jamie N., UK

Religious war will continue as long as religion exists
Ayhan Dalgic, Turkey/UK
Religious war will continue as long as religion exists. What can be done? I think religion must be banned from all over the world. What we believe is personal and should be kept like that. How can they believe these attacks are helping them to achieve whatever they want to achieve? Violence will bring hate - nothing else.
Ayhan Dalgic, Turkey/UK

Those who say that Israeli or American policy is indirectly to blame for crimes like this should take a quiet moment and have a good long think - the twisted criminals who planned and carried out this terrible thing are the guilty ones and their apologists should be ashamed.
Sam G, UK

It's another disgraceful terrorist act. It seems the age of political dialogue by terrorist groups has gone - just wanton acts of terror. Increasingly hiding like cowards amounts true law abiding Muslims and attacking within Muslim countries.
Until true Muslims decide to actively stop the growth of what's seen as a fringe element to Islam, and also realise being an Islamic nation is not protection enough, then I fear the attacks will continue.
Anon, UK

Winning a war on terrorism is impossible. It was a doomed project from the start similar to the war on drugs and it will take some very brave and courageous leaders to take a more radical approach and reverse the failed policies of Blair, Bush and the Israeli state.
Shakoor, UK

Country profile: Turkey
12 Nov 03  |  Country profiles

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