An attacker killed at least 39 people, including a police officer, in a gun attack held on Reina, a popular night club in Istanbul, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on Jan. 1.>
A total of 15 of foreigners were among the ones killed in Istanbul attack, Soylu also said. Minister Soylu said that the search to apprehend the attacker is ongoing.
"Our police have launched the necessary operations. God willing, he will be apprehended soon" he told reporters.
At least 65 people were also wounded in the attack that was carried out before 1:30 a.m., Health Minister Recep Akdağ said. Akdağ said that four of the wounded were in severe condition.
Earlier, Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin said the attacker killed a police officer and a civilian at the gate of Reina by the Bosphorus, before entering inside and raving through the crowd celebrating the new year.
Unconfirmed initial reports speculated that the attack was held by a person wearing Santa Claus costume.
Reina is one of the international night clubs in Istanbul frequented by the high-society, celebs, artists and football stars.
Some revelers had jumped into the water to escape the gunfire and were being rescued by police, NTV said.
According to a witness, there were up to 600 people in the night club.
Some 25,000 police officers have been on duty against a possible terror attack in Istanbul during the New Year's Day celebrations in the wake of consecutive bomb attacks across the country in 2016, which claimed hundreds of lives.
Turkey's Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) also announced a gag order regarding the attack.
Soner Hasırcıoğlu - Hüseyin Aslıyüce / Istanbul DHA