♪ at least ten people are killed and 15 are injured following an explosion at a popular istanbul square, we will have a live report. ♪ hello i'm nick clark and you are watching al jazeera live from doha and also coming up, on the program, food, aid finally arrives for people suffering in syria. oil prices are continuing to fall and crude is now below $31 a barrel, the lowest in more than 12 years. u.s. president barack obama prepares for his last state of the union address.
♪ let's begin with that bomb blast in turkey's largest city and explosion taking place in the historic district which is popular with tourists and there are casualties but no official word yet on the cause of the explosion. al jazeera is joined live now from there. okay, let's speak to emray in istanbul and what is the latest you have for us? >> well, the prime minister amid is holder high-level security meeting in ankara which includes the top brass of the military as well as the minister of interior and intelligence officials. this is taking place in ankara and is ongoing. authorities have not pointed at a cause of the blast which took
place 40 meters behind me but they said they are not ruling out the possibility of a suicide attack. what we know so far is around 10:20 in the morning local time, 8:20gmt a powerful blast which eyewitnesses and a kilometer from here said shook the ground and took place in a square adjacent to the square known for having two egyptian parts and we understand it's up to ten people have now lost their lives and 15 have been injured. >> at this point in time emray no claim of responsibility but there are several potential possibilities, aren't there? >> there are. turkey has in 2015 suffered quite a few terrorist attacks.
you will remember the attack which killed over 30 people if i'm not mistaken and of course in ankara a double suicide attack which killed over 100 people which is the reason why authorities and security services were able to get here and were on quite high alert to start off with and were able to get here quite fast. there is a police helicopter still circling the sky above us and police conducting searches outside the perimeter that they have established outside the square and just to reiterate this really is the heart of the city's tourist structure and this is the first place you would come to after checking into your hotel or, you know, the first square you would initially come to with the eye of sophia and the blue mosque a kilometer and a half over my
left shoulder. >> leave it there for a moment and go to andrew in istanbul and covered turkey for 20 years as a foreign correspondence dents and also the cofounder of p20 to promote journalism and thank you for joining us and important to talk about the perspective of this and talking about this area of istanbul is very much a target and tourist center and that would tally with i.s.i.l.'s tactics in the past although there is no claim of responsibility yet. >> there is no claim of responsibility, there were attacks in the past in turkey so it's a possibility that this is indeed another one. and as you've said it is very clearly targeting the tourist heart land of the city of the country. it's very clearly an attempt to frighten off people from coming to 'tis pan istanbul and we know among the ten killed there have been foreigners and visitors to
istanbul including several german tourists so it's very much and attack with an economic motive. >> also been suggesting that pkk could be responsible but with that kind of tally with their tactics to go against western tourist targets? >> well, the pkk they indeed they are a possibility that the moment and there is a war of at tricks going on in the southeast of turkey and cities are virtually under siege by their turkish armed forces and curfews and people are not allowed out and it's a very grim situation and may be a retaliatory attack for that and in the 90s the pkk did attack various economic targets but the warning bell that goes on in my mind is that the pkk at the moment enjoy a
certain respectability in the west or the kurdish struggle and these are people who fight i.s.i.s. and they have kurdish allies, allies of the pkk on the syrian side of the border are getting western support and may be reluctant to and attack of this kind to alienate the west and that is the warning bell i have in my mind. >> how will the turkish government be looking to respond to this and it depends i guess on who did it? >> well, indeed and of course at the moment the way they responded is trying to impose a new blackout, at the moment this happened there was a temporary ban on the reporting of this incident, of the broadcasting about this incident, a ban which i have to say the government's own media, the state broadcaster has ignored and they clearly
will be at a loss quite how to respond to this. it's very difficult to see that if this were an i.s.i.s. attack how they could prevent such further attacks because there are clearly cells if this turns out to be i.s.i.s. then there are clearly cells within the country which have been established so it poses a particular challenge to the intelligence community here. >> appreciate your perspective and very interesting to hear from you and thanks very much indeed. more from turkey as we get it but let's move on to other news now and the u.n. humanitarian chief says 400 people must be brought out of the syrian town for life-saving treatment and made the call as food and medicine finally reached three besieged towns and a deal with the government and aid convoy arrived in damascus on monday and supplies also delivered to the pro-government villages and opposition groups are surrounding these villages and
there are many areas not included in the deal. eastern guta around 176,000 people are in urgent need of help, 9,000 trapped in the damascus suburb in the town and the u.n. says i.s.i.l. fighters have cutoff 200,000 people in parts of the eastern city. the russian president vladimir putin has been talking about syria saying work must begin on a new constitution as the first step to ending the war and he added finding a peaceful solution will be made more difficult by saudi arabia diplomatic standoff with iran. let's speak to rory our correspondence dents in moscow and tell us more about what the president has been saying. >> well, it's a pretty extensive interview he gave to the german consultation and doesn't often speak to the foreign media in this detail and usually it's to
t up a foreign visit and will speak to one of the publications or broadcasters in the country he is about to visit and doesn't look like that is the case at the moment and the talks are in great depth and built about different issues and spreading this interview across two different days and yesterday, monday they published the first part and today tuesday they have gone for the second and he was talking about the wet relationship between russia and the west, the relationship they have with various global institutions like nato and g8 and talking about a conflict in ukraine and of course talking about syria too. regarding his syria comments he basically pledged commitment to the agreements that were reached in geneva late last year, brokered with the united states and various other countries as well that essentially said this, syria should have a new constitution and new elections within the next 18 months so
vladimir putin is continuing to push that line as well. but he has also said various things about bashar al-assad his ally in syria and said bashar al-assad is not targeting his own population, he is only targeting the armed groups that are fighting against what he calls the legitimate government of syria but that doesn't mean that bashar al-assad has escaped rebuke from the russian president, he said that bashar al-assad had done many things wrong in this conflict without expanding particularly on what those things were. he also talked about the support that russia says it's giving to various armed groups in syria at the moment that are opposed to the government. he says that they are giving support at the moment because those groups are fighting against i.s.i.s. and russia says that it's fighting against i.s.i.s. too so four groups russia says it supported with bombing campaigns and air
support but we don't yet know further detail about whether russia is contributing to supplying these groups with arms, vladimir putin was still quiet about that matter. >> thanks very much for the update from moscow. let's return to those delivery in besieged syrian towns and we go to the logistics office and part of the convey we talked about that went in the town of madaya on monday and joins us from skype now from damascus and thank force joining us and tell us more about your journey and what you experienced. >> we got in there quite late last night. it was dark. i was very called and it was quite miserable. people in there, their first question to all of us was do we have food so there is obviously quite an issue with food. there are approximately we estimate 42000 people in there and at the same time
simultaneously there was food and the same items that went into madaya as you mentioned earlier. >> and what type of food did you take in? >> we took in basically a ration wp ration that we give out to all of the people in syria who are in need of food assistance. it has rice in there, it has enough to keep a family going for one month and we will be going back again in a few days with wheat flour to also give to the families. >> the u.n.'s humanitarian chief has said up to 400 people are in need of urgent evacuation for medical treatment, did you see any of those people, was anybody evacuated? >> i'm afraid i didn't actually go to that area or not the distribution but the unloading of the food and their nonfood
items, blankets, et cetera and didn't actually get the opportunity to go to the hospital. i think our resident coordinator was the one that went there and he would be able to tell you much more about that. >> you are the logistics officer for the wfp and dealing with these kind of tragedys a lot and how does what you have seen in madaya and syria come -- compare with other events like this in the world? >> if you look at syria itself there are many other areas that are besieged and in the same dire condition. i can't even compare what i saw yesterday with anywhere else in the world because every situation is different as you can imagine. but it was very bad conditions, desperate conditions i would say and very similar conditions that we are seeing throughout syria at the moment in both areas.
>> i understand, what are the biggest challenges for you in getting these supplies in? >> logistically for this convoy yesterday it was simultaneously done, synchronized with the northern one and it was difficult in we have to all go in our areas at the same time but from a logistics point of view access is our issue, getting security is one issue but also actually traveling around the country has become a challenge, getting transportation to go in the areas is a challenge but we are getting there. we are making successes and we are actually finding ourselves in these places so this is a good thing. this was a very big success yesterday. >> okay we appreciate your time and telling us the story of that trip into madaya and taking important supplies into parts of syria thank you.
people need to leave besiegedtown of madaya for medical and food and it reached people in three blockaded towns. more on attack in turkey's largest city and here is mary ann's report on what has happened so far. [sirens] the heart of istanbul and one of the popular tourist spots and this is less than an hour after an explosion, the site quartered off and security tight. >> we understand that from eyewitnesses that it was quite a powerful explosion. nobody has commented yet on the reason for the cause of it. it took place in the square in front of the just behind the blue mosque. >> reporter: istanbul is turkey's biggest city and the historic square is a draw for
tourist and turks alike. the district is home to the museum and istanbul's iconic blue mosque. this is the latest blast to hit turkey. in october at least 102 people died in a double suicide attack in a peace rally at the capitol ankara and violence has a back drop of operations in the southeast of turkey and almost five-year civil war along its southern border with syria. and the district has been locked down and its people left bewildered a blast has torn through the beloved and historic city, al jazeera. oil prices hit a new low plummeting less than $31 a barrel, the lowest level in more than a decade, industry experts say it could plunge further and at the peak in july 2008 a barrel of oil cost more than $147 and it has fallen to $30 a
barrel and great news for people filling up their cars or the cost of heating their home but bad news for oil producing countries and none of these countries are getting enough oil to cover cast and some are devaluing currency and others on the brink of defaulting on the debt and from the capitol abuja and nigeria highly depends on the price of oil and the barrel and what is the situation there? >> that is right nick and the falling price of oil had an impact on the economy and on tuesday the petroleum the chief was speaking at a conference at the united emirates at an energy conference where he called for an urgent meeting of opec producing countries and said he received notifications from two countries they were very
interested in a meeting taking place to discuss the impact of the falling price of oil on opec countries prior to the scheduled meeting of june, that they want a meeting, some countries and opec want a meeting as soon as possible, as early as march some are saying to kind of discuss as i say the impact that this is having on these countries. nigeria is in particular troubled as it were simply because it relies so heavily on sale of oil for its income, more than 80% of the government's budget is made up from oil sales and recently the country put together the budget and found that it benchmarked oil at around 38 a barrel and now we are reporting overseas it's much lower than that and looking at around 31 so the question is arising here how will nigeria meet its budget requirements for the coming year. there are reports emerging that
the minister for petroleum and oil in the uae is dismissing some comments by the nigerian minister saying that opec won't do anything artificial but what nigeria's oil minister is basically calling for is perhaps a rethink of the strategy. so far opec produces around 31.5 million barrels of oil every single day and even with the plummeting price of oil for one reason or another the organization has decided not to cut production to try and bolster the price of oil and that is understood by saudi arabia the biggest oil producing country within opec and nigeria and algeria and venezuela who rely on oil say we have to rethink it and put pressure under nigerian authorities which they have been promising is to diversifying economy and steer
it away from dependence on oil and the plummeting prices will add to the pressure on the government to do something and try and reduce nigeria's dependence on oil and invest in areas like agriculture and other mining, sectors. >> yvonne thanks for reporting from abuja. and we have an economist and member of the saudi council and says oil-producing countries need to join in production cuts. >> they built next year's budget around $40 per barrel. if oil goes to $30, that translates to about $25 billion, that is significant. saudi arabia has about $600 billion of reserves so that deficit is less than 10% so saudi arabia is in a very good position to weather this out and it's countries like iran and middle east and like russia and
heading into a recession that may have a huge problem, financing is the difference. so these countries especially russia, large producer, should cooperate if they want to support oil proprices and prices and stop this decline and should all pitch in reducing the over supply and the reason we have this huge problem now is this is a very small surplus amount and less than two billion a day and out of total production it's only about 2%, 2% could be easily absorbed by they nations if they pitch in and opec not the only one to sacrifice and the highest comes from countries like russia and siberia and north oil and shell oil and canada and these countries are putting the highest costs and
why should they be the ones not cutting down production, actually production is falling down right now because of oil prices and oil is elastic and demand and supply and if it falls you don't cut production but you stop investing. now barack obama is promising the final state of the union address will not follow the usual script and correspondent patty looks ahead at washington later. >> willingness to take responsibility for our future and for prosperity. >> reporter: he has addressed a joint set of congress to detail how he sees the state of the union. >> business leaders around the world have declared. >> reporter: this last time it's all about legacy, he is expected to focus mostly on his past accomplishments. >> presidents are often in this sort of last year of their presidency looking to set a narrative about who they were, what they did and how historians and really the public should
judge them for the rest of their lives. >> reporter: he will be addressing members of congress but really be talking to the american people watching at home. >> help me make it happen. >> reporter: trying to get them excited for the coming election, a final public push to try to get his party back in power. the white house releasing this preview online. >> it is what i want to focus on in this state of the union address, not just the remarkable progress we have made, not just what i want to get done in the year ahead, but what we all need to do together in the years to come, the big things. >> reporter: this is a president that has had a very difficult relationship with congress. that was apparent at the beginning of his first term when he was heckled by a congress ma. and in last year's address. >> i have no more campaigns to run. [applause] my only agenda -- i know because
i won both of them. >> reporter: white house officials acknowledge they are unlikely to get congress to act on any big issues but he will ask them to pass criminal justice reform and the trans pacific trade pact. >> we are not afraid. >> reporter: and expected to warn them if they don't act on issues like closing the prison at guantanamo bay cuba he might on his own, this is a president defining his legacy with one year left looking to add a few more accomplishments with or without congress's help. patty with al jazeera, washington. lawyers in indonesia called for release of a muslim cleric jailed for what prosecutors said was a terrorist training camp and judicial review has been opened and adjourned in the case of bashir who is serving a 15-year prison sentence and our correspondent was at court as he made his first public appliance in five years. >> reporter: supporters of
bashir and in their anger at the district court a town in central java near the island where he is in prison. security in town and at the court is tight. bashir is a spiritual leader which is internationally recognized as a hard line islamist organization. in a statement bashir endorsed the armed training camp that led to his conviction in 2010 but insists his donations to the camp were meant for humanitarian purposes. >> translator: my role in this group is unimportant but i receive the heaviest punishment compared to other members so it's clear this is a conspiracy, not a fair sentence. >> reporter: he used his rare public appearance as an opportunity to lash out at police, prosecutors and judges. >> translator: and let's go now to istanbul live and you can see the turkish president irdiwan
addressing the media there and let's have a listen. . >> translator: gives me pleasure to welcome you to the presidential palace. i am talking and wishing for the meeting this year to bring goodness and at the start of my speech at the convention on the terrorist act. ♪ >> translator: there was no many people that i was no longer in control of myself. >> translator: it felt like they were in power and that they could do anything with the women
out in the street partying. >> reporter: protesters say the police could and should have done more. what happened more than a week ago is fuelling the debate in germmy about immigration. witnesses said many of the suspects looked arab or north african. more than 30 suspects have now been identified by german police. some are asylum seekers, but they aren't being connected to the sexual assault allegations, but face violence and robbery charges. the chancellor has demanded a far-reaching investigation. >> translator: the feeling women have in this case of being complete i will defenseless and at mercy is for me inforerable, so it is important that everything that happened must come out into the open. >> reporter: cologne is home to a large muslim community.