The New Year’s Eve massacre at the nightclub in Istanbul was another grim reminder of the vicious violence in which Turkey is now enmeshed. It also gave a glimpse into something which has hitherto received little international exposure – how terrorism from the steppes of Central Asia is casting its lethal shadow in the bloody world of jihad.
The murders at the Reina nightclub were carried out by adherents of Isis from that region, say the Turkish authorities, who also believe the same group may have been responsible for last year’s attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk airport. The gunman is said to be an ethnic Uighur, a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority in China. Those arrested as alleged accomplices are said to include Uighurs, Kyrghyzs, and Turkmen.