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Last Updated: Friday, 21 November, 2003, 23:52 GMT
Mood of defiance in Istanbul
By Lisa Mitchell
BBC News Online, in Istanbul

Twenty-four hours after the bomb attack on the British embassy blew out the windows of the shop next door, there was a queue outside one Istanbul patisserie.

In a defiant gesture, its owner was rewarding Turks who braved the terrorist threat by giving away samples of chocolate profiteroles.

Business as usual in Istanbul
It was a light moment in an otherwise dark day for the locals who, despite the tension, went to work and school as usual.

Time and again they told me they were sad, and some angry, but what else could they do?

Staying away and letting the terrorists win was not an option.

"Everyone talks about staying away from crowded places but if they're going to bomb again it could be anywhere.

"How can you choose where not to go?" said commercial diver Levent Izcan.

The 21-year-old had come to gaze at the place where the British embassy building used to be, the street cordoned off now while debris is cleared away and surrounding buildings made safe.

There is a sense Turkey has been dragged onto the international stage.


Actress Yasemin Balik said: "This might have happened in England or France.

"They were not Turks or English who died but humanity. It was an attack on every country.

"I hope now people from different countries will work together to end these attacks."

Levent Izcan
Levent Izcan said there would be "no staying away"
She was so upset by the bombing she joined Turkish Muslims in fasting for Ramadan.

"I don't normally because I don't have any one religion but I just wanted to do something to mark this terrible event. I felt helpless to do anything else."

For others these bombs, along with those sent crashing into two synagogues in the city last weekend, came printed with a clear message to Turkey.

"America is attacking Iraq and Palestine and who was bombed?

"Jews and British people," said Selim Surmeli, whose watch stall had been shaken by the explosion at the embassy.

I'm staying in at night instead of going out with friends
Alpay Gumrukcu
"I think there will be more bombs. It seems, whoever continues to help [US] President [George W] Bush will be punished."

Alpay Gumrukcu, a graphic artist, thought his country was not doing enough to tackle terrorism.

"We border on terrorist countries. We made a mistake not sending troops to Iraq. It makes me angry.

"I'm also terrified and my mother is terrified. I'm staying in at night instead of going out with friends. And I have no idea how long this fear will last."

Yasemin Balik
Yasemin Balik believes it was an attack on every country
Halil Yorulmaz was in the army for 12 years. Yet he finds himself listening all the time for explosions.

"I'll admit I'm a little afraid," said the security guard.

But for fishmonger Idris Cimen it was business as usual. Except it was not.

"The prices have decreased because of the terror and the customers have gone.

"But they will be back," he said with a shrug.


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