By Leyla Amur
On May 22, the Istanbul Municipality demolished the Reina nightclub, the site of an ISIS attack that killed 39 people on January 1.The municipality released a statement only after leveling Reina revealing that certain sections of the site had not been built according to code. In its statement, the municipality did not clarify which sections of Reina – which consists of a club and several restaurants – were in violation of the code.
Situated along the Bosphorus in Beşiktaş’ Ortaköy neighborhood, Reina’s club first opened more than 15 years ago.
The destruction of the building seemed to come as a surprise. State-run Anadolu Agency reported that employees of Reina had not been previously informed of the municipality’s decision. BBC Türkçe later confirmed this, noting that company officials who responded to questions were also in the dark about the situation.
Before the municipality’s statement was released, a source close to the nightclub told local media, “This is an unexpected situation for us too. The demolition process took 45 minutes. They demolished it and left.”
At the time of writing, no government officials had made a statement.
The city’s decision comes more than five months after a militant attack on the nightclub at the start of the year.
In the early morning hours of January 1, a lone attacker released gunfire on crowds in Reina, claiming the lives of 39 New Years revelers. The police later caught the gunman, identified as Abdulkadir Masharipov, on January 16 in Istanbul’s Esenyurt district. Last week, Anadolu Agency reported that trial proceedings for Masharipov will begin December 11.