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Istanbul maritime conference cancelled after bombing

SMM Istanbul 2016 cancelled by organisers following terrorist attack on tourist area that left 11 dead

Pictured: SMM Istanbul

International maritime conference SMM Istanbul has been cancelled in the wake of terrorist attacks in the city.

German organisers Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH and Turkish partner Goca Exhibitions cancelled the event, due to take place in February, following the attack that saw 10 Germans among those killed by a suicide bomber on Tuesday 12 January.

A statement from Hamburg Messe said: “The tense political situation in the region and the changing Turkish shipbuilding market have created a sense of uncertainty among international exhibitors, leading to a general reluctance to register for the SMM Istanbul conference and exhibition. 

“Given these circumstances, the organisers, Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH and their local partners, Goca Exhibitions, have concluded that it would not be economically feasible to proceed with the event originally scheduled for 24 and 25 February 2016. Hamburg Messe will reevaluate the Turkish market and the political environment for the year 2018.”

The suicide bomber attack in Istanbul's historic Sultanahmet Square district, popular among tourists, killed 11 people, all foreigners, and injured a further 14.

The last edition of SMM Istanbul attracted around 2,600 visitors and delegates from 40 countries.

Meanwhile, Istanbul Convention & Visitors Bureau says meetings and conferences will continue as normal in the city as part as the fight against terrorism.

Convention bureau president Ibrahim Caglar said: “I condemn with hatred the inhuman terrorist attack that occurred in Istanbul. Istanbul is the city of both East and West. I state regretfully that the target was already to wreck that cultural togetherness. 

“Moreover, this terrorist attack is a link of the chain of terrorism that occurred in Paris and other European cities. Lately, all world cities have been going through the security threats due to the terrorism.

“The most crucial support to the fight against terrorism is to maintain our economic life and to continue our travel plans.”

He added that planned meetings and conferences in the city will continue as normal.

He said: “General Directorate of Security Affairs has been taking determinedly all the measures for our visitors coming to Istanbul and to our country. Furthermore, all planned cultural and social activities, meetings and congresses in our city will continue.

“As ICVB, we will continue hosting the international events planned in Istanbul and will be awaiting our visitors.”

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