New Year celebrations: Istanbul tightens security measures

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Istanbul – Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin on Thursday announced security measures have been upgraded for New Year celebrations in Turkey’s most populous city.

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“A total of 37,000 police officers, 4,000 gendarmerie members and the coast guard will be on duty on New Year’s Eve across the city to ensure the security at the maximum level.

“We have also warned entertainment venues, which have their own security personnel, to upgrade their precautions,’’ the governor added.

Abdulkadir Masharipov, a Uzbek national, shot dead 39 people at Istanbul’s Reina nightclub on New Year’s Eve this year, despite the presence of private security guards.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility soon after the shooting spree.

Local authorities have already announced a ban on New Year’s Eve celebrations at Istanbul’s iconic Taksim Square and other locations in the districts of Besiktas and Sisli over increasing security concerns.

“We have taken all precautions for our citizens to spend the New Year’s Eve in the best possible way,’’ Sahin said.

Turkish police captured 12 suspects in the southern province of Adana on Tuesday, who were allegedly planning to carry out lone-wolf attacks during New Year celebrations by using vehicles and knives. (Xinhua/NAN)

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