THE DEPARTMENT of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday said it is still verifying the safety of about 3,000 Filipinos residing in Istanbul after an explosion in a busy shopping area of the Turkish city on Sunday that killed six and injured 81.
“So far, the Embassy and Consulate General have not received any report of Filipino casualties,” Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Maria Theresita C. Daza told reporters via WhatsApp.
“The Philippine Embassy in Ankara and the Philippine Consulate General in Istanbul express their condolences to the families of those who lost their lives at the explosion in Istanbul yesterday,” she said.
The DFA will continue to monitor the situation and report any development, she added.
Filipinos in Istanbul include household service workers, spouses of Turkish nationals, expats working in foreign companies and English teachers.
“We call on the Department of Migrant Workers and the Department of Foreign Affairs to respond immediately to ensure the condition and safety of our compatriots in Istanbul, Turkey,” Senate Majority Leader Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva said in a statement on Monday.
The senator also extended his condolences to the victims.
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said the incident has been deemed as a terrorist attack, according to state news agency Anadolu. “We consider it to be a terrorist act as a result of an attacker, whom we consider to be a woman, detonating the bomb.”
The suspected bomber, along with several others, had been arrested, the state agency also reported quoting Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu on Monday. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan