An armed attack occurred at a Catholic church in Constantinople, resulting in the tragic loss of one life.
At approximately 11:40 in the morning, during the Sunday Divine Liturgy, two masked assailants, armed and unidentified, entered the Catholic church of Santa Maria in Buyukdere on the European side of the Bosphorus, opening fire.
Among the churchgoers, an individual succumbed to a fatal gunshot wound to the head during the attack.
Heavy police forces and ambulances swiftly responded to the scene.
The Turkish Minister of Justice announced via social media that a prosecutor’s investigation is underway into the incident. To facilitate this, two heads of the Constantinople General Prosecutor’s Office and one deputy prosecutor have been appointed.
Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya, in a statement on platform X, denounced the attack and indicated that it may have been targeted against an individual with the initials CT, who lost their life during the incident.
Ali Yerlikaya’s statement on social media states:
“Today, at approximately 11:40, while the service was taking place at Santa Maria Church in Buyukdere, Sariyer district, CT, a member of the congregation, was attacked by two masked assailants and tragically lost his life, succumbing to fatal injuries.
Comprehensive investigations and concerted efforts are underway to apprehend the perpetrators.
We vehemently condemn this heinous attack.”
Ömer Çelik, spokesperson for the Justice and Development Party (AKP), posted about the attack: “We strongly condemn the attack against one of our citizens during the service at the church of Santa Maria in Constantinople. Our security forces are conducting thorough investigations into the incident. Those who turn against the peace and security of our citizens will never achieve their goal.”
And Constantinople Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu condemned the attack in a post: “I condemn the armed attack during the Sunday service at the Santa Maria church in Sarıyer. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of CT, who lost his life, and wish a swift recovery to the injured. We will never allow those who try to disturb our unity and peace by attacking the places of faith in our city.”
Pope Francis says he is by the side of the Italian Catholic Church in Constantinople
“I declare that I am on the side of the community of the Church of Santa Maria Draperis in Constantinople, which during the service was attacked by an armed attack with one dead and many injured,” the Pope said after the end of the prayer in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican.
Source: ANA-MPA / Translated by Thanos Chrysanthopoulos