Hobbs Speaks About Turkey NYE Attack

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a deadly terrorist attack at Reina nightclub in Istanbul on New Year’s Eve, citing revenge for Turkey’s strikes against ISIS. 

While Turkey faced a series of violent and deadly attacks in 2016, the latest one was “the first attack in Turkey on an entertainment space,” as Nick Hobbs, international booker and owner of talent-buying and promoting agency

CCTV/Haberturk Newspaper via AP
– Suspected
This image shows the attacker, armed with a long-barrelled weapon, shooting his way into the Reina nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey.

“2016 was a bad year for Turkey, a bad year to be living in Turkey, and a bad year for the entertainment business in Turkey, especially the international side of things,” Hobbs said. “Which isn’t to say that life doesn’t carry on, and that includes all kinds of public events, which, generally speaking are very low risk; but of course terrorism works on fear, not on a statistical calculation of risk.”

Hobbs explained that “there are two active sources of terrorism in Turkey: Kurdish terrorism and Islamic State terrorism. While both are equally brutal, the two are very different in political character.

Kurdish terrorism targets the state, and does not target non-state people nor foreigners; while Islamic State terrorism particularly targets foreigners.” Hobbs said he believes that terrorist attacks will continue, for the time being at least, “given that there is no political solution to the Kurdish crisis in sight, and given that the Turkish army is fighting the Islamic state in Syria.”

Hobbs emphasized that he has no intention of leaving Istanbul or ceasing to attend gigs and other kinds of performances in Turkey’s most populous city.

“The attack on New Year’s Eve means that venue security has to be looked at very seriously for each venue that can be considered a potential target, though, again as in Europe as a whole, the next attack is likely to be somewhere quite different…. Also, generally the majority of people who go to concerts are locals not foreigners, meaning that most venues are not likely targets; the Reina nightclub is exceptional in this regard.”

As far as Charmenko’s day-to-day business is concerned, “we are continuing to book international artists; part of that process will be a serious discussion with both the artist and the local side about security issues and risks.”