At least 13 people are feared dead and dozens more have been seriously injured, in a double terror attack in central Istanbul.
A car bomb was detonated close to Istanbul’s Besiktas sports stadium while a suicide bomber detonated a device at a nearby park.
The Turkish government immediately imposed a media ban in the wake of the terror attacks on the grounds of national security.
At least 20 people were wounded in the bomb blast which came after the end of a match between two of Turkey’s top teams.
Besiktas had won 2-1 at home against Bursaspor when a loud explosion was heard at about 10.30pm local time as fans left the Turkish Super League match.
Eyewitness Omer Yilmaz, a cleaner at a nearby mosque, said: “It was like hell. The flames went all the way up to the sky.
“I was drinking tea at the cafe next to the mosque. People ducked under the tables, women began crying. Football fans drinking tea at the cafe sought shelter, it was horrible.”
It is believed that dozens of police officers were injured in the bomb blast which happened close to a riot police van parked close to Istanbul’s Besiktas football club where the match had taken place.
Macka Park where the suicide attack happened is just one street east of the stadium
Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said: “Two bombings may have taken place according to our understanding: one outside the stadium… the other at Macka Park.
Sports Minister Akif Cagatay Kilic said on Twitter: “I condemn the cruel terror attack in Istanbul. Those attacking our nation’s unity and solidarity will never win.”
“It is thought to be a car bomb at a point where our special forces police were located, right after the match at the exit where Bursaspor fans exited, after the fans had left,’ Mr Soylu was quoted as saying by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.
TV footage showed what appeared to be the wreckage of a burned out car and two separate fires on the road outside the stadium.
Armed police sealed off streets around the Vodafone Arena as smoke billowed from the stadium and a police water cannon was used to put out flames in the wreckage of a burned out car.
Images broadcast on television showed more than a dozen ambulances on a street near the stadium as a police helicopter flew overhead with its search lights on.