Attack On Istanbul Ataturk Airport In Turkey
The Law Of... international safetyNews of an attack at the Istanbul Atatürk International Airport in Turkey that has left 41 dead and nearly 300 injured has been reported by the press, with early reports suggesting that the attack was carried out by members of a terrorist group.
Tragedy as terrorists attack innocent travellers
The media has reported that the tragedy, which is believed to have lasted for several minutes, was carried out by three attackers armed with AK-47 rifles and bombs at the airport's x-ray security checkpoint.
Prior to the detonation of what are believed to have been suicide bombs, the gunmen walked through the terminal and appeared to be firing at anyone who came across their path.
One of the gunmen was sighted being shot by the police and dropping his rifle before falling to the ground, shortly after which his bomb detonated.
Why did this attack happen?
Terrorists don't discriminate based on location, instead aiming to scare those with beliefs that they feel are wrong.
An attack of this nature could have happened anywhere, and the Istanbul Atatürk airport was likely chosen due to the perceived weakness of the security procedures that they have in place, and possibly due to Edi Rama, the Albanian Prime Minister landing at the airport during the attack.
While ISIS and Kurdish militants are currently suspected of being responsible, at present, terrorist groups haven't claimed responsibility for the attack, although it appears clear that this is an attack intended to instil fear into holidaymakers and travellers in Turkey.
Does terrorism impact my rights?
As a British tourist you benefit from a range of rights that are designed to protect you in the event that you come to harm, whether through suffering an injury or illness due to the negligence of your tour operator, airline, transfer driver, hotel or cruise liner. Regardless of any terrorist events around the world, these rights should remain unaffected.
As a British tourist you are protected by the following:
- The Package Travel Regulations 1992 – This ensures that if you become sick or injured on a package holiday by something that wasn't your fault, your tour operator can be held liable.
- The Montreal Convention – This covers you for any injury that you could sustain during air travel, which was caused by an accident that wasn't your fault, as well as a range of other rights.
- The Athens Convention – This works much in the same way as the Montreal Convention and provides similar cover to those travelling on cruise ships.
What can I do to stay safe?
If you are concerned about terrorism abroad, it's advisable to speak to your tour operator about the safety of the locations you intend to visit. They should be able to advise you of whether a destination is high risk, or if there are certain customs and practices you should observe to avoid offending anyone.
It's also a good idea to check the information posted by the Foreign Office
which provides information on the threat levels in different countries and regions around the world.
What does this means to holidaymakers?
In addition to mourning for those who we've lost, you may be concerned about what this means to your safety if you're planning to travel to Turkey this summer.
As a general rule, incidents of terrorism usually result in heightened security, as officials take a strict stance against any perceived threats. It's important to keep this in mind when travelling as you're likely to face delays getting through security and customs, but remember that this is being done to enhance your safety and the safety of other passengers.
What can I do?
While this is a personal decision, it's important to not allow terrorist attacks deter you from enjoying your holiday. This might seem quite callous to say in light of those who have lost their lives, but by allowing terrorism to influence your choices you giving extremists what they want.
Istanbul will be suffering from what has been the third attack in the city this year, but by continuing to travel to Turkey, you can show your support, and of course show extremists that you won't be deterred by their actions.
Find out moreIt's always advisable to make sure that you do your research before traveling and make sure that you make an informed decision before choosing your holiday destination. If you want to find out more about your rights on a holiday abroad we recommend visiting our Holiday Claims page.