welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is gavin grey. our top stories: massacre in turkey — at least 35 people are killed in a gun attack at a packed nightclub in istanbul. a0 others are wounded. the city's governor described it as terrorism, calling it a brutal and merciless attack on innocent people celebrating new year. the un security council unanimously votes to support russia and turkey's latest efforts to end violence in syria. london rings in the new year in style with a huge fireworks display on the river thames. we start with breaking news from turkey.
at least 35 people are dead after an armed attack at a nightclub in istanbul. local media say shots were fired during new year celebrations at the popular reina nightclub. it's thought that more than a0 other people have been wounded. the attack happened in the ortakoy district during new year's celebrations. between five and six 100 people were in the club at the time. istanbul's governor called it a terrorist attack. translation: today, around 1:15am, a terrorist attacked an entertainment venue using a firearm. the terrorist shot and killed the police officer in front. he then fired at people in the venue, who were only there to have fun on new year's eve. at least 35 people have unfortunately been killed. one of them is a police officer. at least a0 people are in hospital. the investigation is ongoing. these are the live shots outside the
nightclub at the moment. the media are being kept some distance away. a number of emergency service vehicles are still there. the big question is at the moment we do not know what has happened to the gunman. there we re has happened to the gunman. there were reports security officials were in the nightclub within the last hour still going through the various elements inside that building. but at the moment there is no news as to what happened to the gunman or gunman. that is unclear. as you can see, there is sadly a christmas treat spinning in the distance, but 110w treat spinning in the distance, but now the whole area has been cleared of civilians —— gunmen. earlier i spoke to our turkey correspondent, mark lowen, for the latest. 35 people have been killed and at least a0 people injured, some in a critical condition. the attack targeted the reina nightclub in istanbul, close to the bosporus bridge. it is one of the most popular
nightclubs in istanbul, indeed in turkey. it happened shortly after midnight when at least one attacker entered the nightclub. he sprayed bullets outside the nightclub before entering. there are reports that at least one was dressed in a santa claus outfit and then entered the nightclub, spraying bullets from a kalashnikov rifle inside, killing civilians and we understand at least one police officer. we are told at least 500 or 600 people were inside the nightclub when the attacker struck. they were of course celebrating new year's eve, bidding farewell to a very traumatic year in turkey's modern history. there are reports that some of those people inside the nightclubjumped into the bosphorus, the sea on which the nightclub was situated, in order to try to evade the attack. some 17,000 extra police officers
on duty on new year's eve across turkey just to try to contain such an awful eventuality. public events had already been cancelled in taksim square and other areas of the city. istanbul has been on high alert. this has been a year that has seen a wave of deadly terror attacks. both by so—called islamic state, but also by the kurdish militant group, the pkk. at least 22 terror attacks this year have killed 360 people. it has been a very, very distressing year for turkey. a very grim year. this nation was hoping to put that behind them, and therefore people were celebrating tonight, albeit in an atmosphere of heightened security with people prevented from going into the centre of the city. areas of istanbul were cordoned off as well as areas of ankara. this appears to have been a targeted attack on a very popular nightclub,
that will send shockwaves through the country, and showjust how vulnerable turkey remains after a very grim year of terror attacks. one of the national television stations is saying special police force officers are currently still searching the nightclub. you mentioned the pkk and islamic state. the answer is we still do not know yet. yet the governor of istanbul is coming out with a very strong statement, saying without doubt this was terrorism. yeah. clearly this was a terror attack. this country sadly has become accustomed to such terror attacks that have targeted public areas, police, security forces. what has tended to happen is that the pkk, the kurdish militant group, has targeted the security forces, police and the army. a few weeks ago, there was a twin bombing in instanbul outside
a football stadium which targeted police. that was claimed by a kurdish militant group. but there have been more public attacks, such as on the airport, which was claimed by islamic state. the fact this hit a nightclub with revellers and civilians among the casualties, that would point, isuppose, towards the islamic state group. at this stage it is too early to tell who is behind this attack. we know is has released a video saying that turkey is very much targeted by the group, that they are trying to wreak havoc in turkey. turkey has become ever more embroiled in the war in syria. there was a ground operation in syria earlier this year to try to target is. i think the finger of suspicion will probably point towards is. as i say, kurdish militancy is at play here as is a homegrown
left—wing group as well, that is classified by turkey as a terrorist group. this is a vulnerable country, and that is the sad state of affairs that turkey bids farewell to 2016 and begins 2017, with another terror attack in the heart of turkey's most popular and biggest city. aykan erdemir is a former turkish member of parliament, now a senior fellow with the foundation for defence of democracies — a policy institute based in washington. i asked him whether the attackers were likely to be targeting the nightclub or the celebration of new year's eve. this was not only targeting one of istanbul's top nightclubs, but also a symbolic target, that is targeting secular lifestyle, targeting western lifestyle. it is in fact quite similarto lifestyle. it is in fact quite similar to the paris attack in the
sense that islamic state, if it is confirmed they were behind the attack, is yet again trying to undermine turkey's secular western lifestyle. so from that point of view, this is not only a matter of ha rd view, this is not only a matter of hard security, but at the same time, an ideological battle. it is a clashing of different world views, and therefore, it is not only limited to the islamic state, because in the run—up this attack, for the last two weeks, turkey has had quite an intense debate about christmas celebrations, new year's celebrations, and other islamist ‘s, maybe not as violent or radical as islamic state, have also been involved in pointing the finger to
the seculars in turkey, the more western oriented citizens in turkey, and by targeting them and teaching them not to celebrate new year's, conflating new year's with christmas, and arguing this is only illegitimate and a kind of christian propaganda and undermining islam. that cultural battle, unfortunately, within the first hours of the new year, with this terrible, bloody attack. have various organisers of christmas or new year's event being pressured or threatened not to hold events bike islamist ‘s? yes, there we re events bike islamist ‘s? yes, there were billboards. turkey is a country where freedom of speech, expression, it is not necessarily guaranteed —— islamists. but when islamist
organisations and movements decide to target people celebrating christmas or new year's through billboards, the public announcements, the government has been extremely tolerant of such discourse. in fact, many people this year chose to stay home. they don't feel secure enough to go out. many of the street parties were cancelled. so this was quite a low— key year cancelled. so this was quite a low—key year in terms of new year's celebrations, but that still did not prevent this attack. so i think it is very important to disentangle the two different phenomena here. on the one hand, yes, this is a horrible islamic state attack, and as we all know, there are attacks all around the world. it is difficult to contain those. at the same time, turkey has another battle, a battle for its soul, its orientation. 0n the one hand, a vision of a more
inclusive, pluralistic, multicultural turkey where new year's and christmas celebrations are commonplace, and on the other hand, or intolerant, and more authoritarian turkey, where a kind of straitjacket of conservative islamism is imposed on society to turn into a kind of more homogenous monocultural monotheistic society. today's attack will also initiate debates about the future of turkish society. no group has yet claimed responsibility, to be clear, but watch the turkish government now be doing to answer all of these different attacks? —— what should the turkish government now be doing? this is a challenge notjust for the turkish state but for many other european union states suffering similar attacks. i would argue that
the priority should be to refocus tu rkey‘s the priority should be to refocus turkey's security efforts on real, ha rd turkey's security efforts on real, hard terrorist threats instead of going after dissident academics, dissident journalists, going after dissident academics, dissidentjournalists, dissident ngos. as we all know, turkey's security and law enforcement has lately been busy full—time with cracking down on democratic dissent in turkey. instead, a turkey that faces all of these violent threats, an attorney from the islamic state but from a long list of terrorist organisations, should make it a priority to go after terrorist organisations. that is the first diet. it is a 2—pronged strategy —— first thread. ankara should make sure to tackle this climate of fear and intolerance, climate of hate,
that breeds radicalism, that allows jihadists to recruit militants is lee. unless turkey work sonic inculcating inclusivity, and tolerance, it will be easy for radicals to recruit new militants for the future attacks —— works on. that was a former turkish member of parliament. stay with us on bbc news. let's have a look at this live shots outside the reina nightclub, attacked around one o'clock local time in the morning with people celebrating the new year. plenty more on this coming up in the latter half of this programme. plenty more for us on the website as well. also still to come: london lights up the new year with a spectacular fireworks display on the river thames. the most ambitious financial
and political change ever attempted has got under way with the introduction of the euro. tomorrow, in holland, we're gonna use money we picked up in belgium today, then we'll be in france, and again it'll be the same money. it has just got to be the way to go. george harrison, the former beatle, is recovering in hospital after being stabbed in his 0xfordshire home. a 33—year—old man from liverpool is being interviewed by police on suspicion of attempted murder. i think it was good. just good? no, fantastic. that's better. this is bbc news.
i'm gavin gray. the latest headlines: at least 35 people have been killed in a gun attack on a crowded nightclub in istanbul — another a0 have been wounded. the city's governor described it as terrorism he said it was a brutal and merciless attack on innocent people celebrating new year. 0ur reporter, selin gerit joined us from istanbul. she gave us an update on the latest developments. the ambulances at the scene have been leaving, one after another, so from what we understand is that there is no more happening at the scene of the attack. there are 35 people dead, the governor has told us, and there are at least a0 people wounded at the scene of the attack.
we were told by the governor of istanbul that there was probably one attacker, but we don't know, because the witnesses at the scene were speaking of probably another attacker. the ambulances have left the scene at the moment, but there is still a police presence. that's where we are, we are a kilometre away from the scene. we are not allowed to go near the scene. but the governor spoke to us. he told us that 35 people were actually dead. and a0 wounded are being treated at the nearby hospitals and there is of course increasing concern over whether the casualties will rise. do we know any more what happened to the gunman? we don't actually know
what happens to the gunman, we don't even know whether there was one 01’ more of. the governor told about one gunman, but eyewitnesses from the scene have been speaking about more than one. people have been speaking about... because this venue is just by the sea, people have been speaking about people just throwing themselves into the two rescue their lives, to save their lives, and we are hearing about all sorts of things about what happens to those people. there are still people being treated at the hospital is and we are still... we still have to learn how many people were wounded and how many people were dead, but the governor told us that at least 35 people have been killed in this incident that has taken place at this nightclub in istanbul. people were worried about anything that
could have happened in istanbul because istanbul has been the scene of many attacks recently. for instance, at ta ksim square people were expecting something could happen, but at a nightclub this is something new. the fact that these people disguised themselves as father christmas is of course a concern as well. we still need to learn about how many people are being treated at the hospital. we are not allowed at the scene at the moment and there is still a lot of police presence at the moment and we are about a kilometre away from the scene. all the ambulances have been sent
away and from what we understand there are not any more people who will be treated and we probably could expect the casualties to increase. a short time ago i spoke to zafer arapkirli — a turkish journalist and broadcaster on the line from istanbul. well, i don't know how to speak about it, but the very sad part of the story, we were expecting this. you won't ask why we were expecting this, there were two past attacks and three weeks ago we were outside the besiktas stadium, there was a twin bomb attack where 35 people...a5 people died and hundreds injured.
i narrowly escaped that attack by a couple of minutes. last summer there was an attack on the main airport of istanbul. it wasn't a matter of if anything would happen but it was a matter of when and how and how many casualties there would be. it came just on the night of new year's eve and at the very moment when people, including me, hundreds of thousands, maybe tens of millions of people, were exchanging goodwill messages for the next year. believe me, honestly, everyone was using the same sentence. they were saying to each other that never again should we repeat 2016. it came just at the moment when we were exchanging these sorts of goodwill messages. 25 policemen and women, security was taken all around the city. street parties were cancelled.
there was a small street party at the 0rtakoy district, just a few hundred yards away from the scene of the night's attack. we were hoping nobody would be injured there but the reports were that these killers went and hit the most popular nightclub of the city, maybe the country. sorry to interrupt, but the president has promised to stub out terrorism in the country, but there's been a long list of attacks last year, there is this attack on the first day of 2017 and as you say the city was expecting it. in short, do you think people have confidence that he can stamp it out? there is little confidence. your reporter reminded
us that the enemies... there's a long shortlist. we are suffering threats from the islamic state terrorists, we are suffering threats from the pkk, we are suffering threats from left organisations. i mean, it is very difficult to chase them. in other news: the un security council has unanimously supported efforts to end fighting in syria, following a ceasefire brokered by russia and turkey. the resolution also calls for the rapid delivery of humanitarian aid. rebel groups in syria had threatened to abandon the deal if government forces continued to attack areas under their control. bill hayton reports. total support for the latest attempt at peace. after so many years of fighting, is this finally a route out of war? the latest agreement is backed by some of the key players, but doubts stopped the us and other countries giving it wholehearted endorsement.
instead, they simply welcomed it. we have voted in favour of this resolution because it strikes the right balance. cautious optimism, and support, predicated on hope, but tempered by a realistic need to wait to see how this arrangement is implemented before casting the full weight of the security council behind it. many details of the agreement remain secret. but the russian government, which brokered it along with turkey, says other countries should not obstruct the process. translation: i don't want to criticise, but i would like in the most delicate way to just hint to colleagues it is a very complicated process. everything we have been able to achieve is the result of enormous work. so, please, let's keep things clear. please help us. if you don't want to help, just make sure that you don't complicate things. in syria, many questions remain. will aid get through to everyone? how will breaches of the truce be handled? what will happen to groups that haven't signed the deal? and, the biggest of all, will president assad remain in power?
the rebel grouping with support from the eu and united states still says he has to go. all of the war crimes he has committed here, these crimes, you cannot expect someone like him to go on ruling syria. so, if he doesn't go, it means there will be no peace in syria. it is the third truce in less than a year, but for the time being it appears to be holding. but peace is more than the absence of war. finally, new year celebrations have been taking place around the world as people welcome in 2017. let's leave you with the iconic scenes here in londonjust a few hours ago. nine, eight, seven, six, five, three, two, one! cheering. big ben
tolls. good morning and a very happy new year to you. the change of year brings a change in the weather. if we take a look at the recent satellite picture, you can see this strip of cloud sinking its way southwards. there is rain coming from this cloud. it is associated with a weather front, and in fact, it is a cold front. and as that continues to journey southwards and eastwards through new year's day, we will see increasingly cold air digging in from the north. and that really is the pattern for the next couple of days. but back to the here and now, the first part of new year's day increasingly wet across southern parts of the british isles. so this is the story at 9:00am this morning. across south—west england, some quite heavy bursts of rain. that's stretching up through the south midlands and into east anglia. to the south—east, a mild start.
seven degrees in dover. a lot of cloud, but the main body of rain won't have got here by this stage. and then, on the back edge of the weather front, with cold air starting to dig in, and we could see sleet, possibly some wet snow developing, particularly up over high ground, the pennines. wintry showers for northern scotland. rain close to the coast, but inland, over high ground, some snow. windy here, potentially some icy stretches on untreated roads, as there could be in the north—west and northern ireland. then for wales, we're back into our weather front, with rain and wintry weather up over high ground. remember, cold air is digging into the back of the weather front. and our front essentially stalls across south—eastern areas, so here we can expect rain throughout new year's day. but further north, some bright skies, some sunshine, and wintry showers, particularly for exposed coastal areas. and a really chilly day, four or five degrees, mild air holding on across the far south and south—east. but then, as we go through the night, that cold air works its way southwards across all parts of the country, as we finally push our weather front away. and we will see quite
a widespread frost, as well, and potentially icy stretches, particularly where we see showers through the night on exposed coasts. and these are increasingly turning wintry, even to quite low levels. some of these will continue into monday. for most for monday though, it is a beautiful day with sparkling sunshine. however, it won't do much for the temperatures, 3—6 degrees at best. as we go deeper into the week, high pressure is in charge of the weather, particularly out to the west. a north—westerly wind, so not a particularly warm wind direction, but slightly less cold air will work into the mixture on tuesday and wednesday. with it, a fair amount of cloud, but for many it will stay dry. just a few showers for exposed coasts. the latest headlines from bbc news. i'm gavin grey. at least 35 people have been killed in a gun attack on a crowded nightclub in istanbul. another a0 have been wounded. up to 600 people are thought to have been inside the reina club when the shooting happened.
the city's governor has called it a terrorist attack. the united nations security council has unanimously welcomed efforts by russia and turkey to stop fighting in syria, and says it supports the start of a political process. peace negotiations are due to begin next month in kazakhstan, which have the backing of russia, iran and turkey. london has marked the start of the new year with a spectacular fireworks display on the river thames. tens of thousands of people crowded on to the banks to watch. revellers are expected at times square in new york to join the celebrations in a few hours' time. security has been stepped up in major cities around the world. now on our world, a symphony for syria. first broadcast last summer, it's a touching story of four syrian