Irish family injured in bomb attack 'recovering at home in UK'
Published 21/03/2016 | 02:30
An Irish family injured in a suicide attack in Istanbul have returned home as tensions remain high in the Turkish city.
Members of the Irish-Algerian family of five suffered non-life-threatening injuries when a suicide bomber detonated a device on Saturday morning at Istikal Avenue - Istanbul's main shopping area - killing five people and leaving dozens wounded.
Irish citizen Mohammed Ameen Bachik and his wife were taken to hospital along with their three children. The family were treated for minor injuries and were discharged on Saturday night.
The Bachiks had travelled to Istanbul for a holiday when they were caught up in the bombing.
The Irish ambassador to Turkey, Brendan Ward, confirmed that the family were released from hospital. They later boarded a flight from Istanbul to the UK on Saturday night.
Hussein Awada, a close friend of Mr Bachik, said the family returned safely to their home in London and are recovering from their injuries.
"Mohammed is doing fine and they have arrived home," Mr Awada told the Irish Independent last night.
"I have been in contact with him. He is getting some bed rest and is recovering."
Mr Bachik was based in Ireland for 10 years and worked in Rotana Café, a Dublin restaurant, before moving to Britain.
A former colleague described him as a "good worker" and said that he emigrated because of the high rents being demanded in Dublin.
Mr Ward said that his assistant was in Istanbul and travelled to the hospital to assist the Bachik family.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but officials believe it was either Isil or Kurdish separatists.
Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said he was "deeply saddened" by the attacks.
Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs has issued a travel advisory to Irish citizens visiting Turkey, warning them to exercise caution, especially in tourist areas.
"If you're planning a trip to Turkey, we advise you to exercise caution. The threat from terrorism in Turkey remains high," the department warned.
"While areas popular with Irish travellers are located at a substantial distance from these regions, vigilance is required in tourist areas, such as Taksim Square in Istanbul, and locations close to police stations, which may be targets for terrorist attacks."