ISIS Members Detained After Fatal Church Attack

According to Turkish police, a place of worship in Istanbul, the Roman Catholic Santa Maria church, was attacked by two masked men during Sunday Mass, resulting in the death of one person.

According to an X platform statement by Ali Yerlikaya, Turkey’s Interior Minister, armed attackers stormed the church in the Sariyer area at about 11:40 a.m.

Yerlikaya did not disclose the nature of the weapons employed or the number of casualties.

Turkish police have not officially identified the victim; however, local media have reported that the 52-year-old victim went by the initials C.T.

Hours after the incident, Yerlikaya announced the arrest of two individuals whom he said were extremists from the Islamic State movement. He announced at a press conference just after midnight one of the suspects was Tajikistani, and the other was Russian.

As part of their investigation into the incident, Yerlikaya revealed that police had detained 47 individuals and raided 30 places.

Two masked assailants burst into the church and began firing as soon as they saw that everyone attending the service was on the floor, as shown in a brief video that has gone viral on social media. The two guys quickly run away.

The Turkish government has ordered that news outlets may not report on the incident.

The assailants escaped after firing two bullets, according to Sukru Genc, mayor of the attacked Sariyer area, who spoke with the daily Birgun. According to Genc, General Witold Lesniak (Poland’s Consul) and his family were among those there, and thankfully, they were all uninjured.

Lesniak and Rev. Anton Bulai, the priest of Santa Maria, were contacted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who sent his sympathies. Istanbul is home to a Muslim majority, and its mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, extended his condolences and support to the city’s religious minority.

The friars of the Italian Franciscan order are in charge of the church. The Italian consulate in Istanbul and the Italian embassy in Ankara are all keeping tabs on the situation, according to Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani.