Suicide attack, Hatred, Jostein Nielsen, Turkey, Istanbul, Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet square

“Love can conquer hatred” – Norwegian Istanbul blast victim

A Norwegian man injured in the Istanbul suicide bomb attack says he has no hard feelings towards Turkey, and that love can conquer the hate that motivated the bomber.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY (JANUARY 13, 2016) (REUTERS) – A Norwegian man who was injured in the deadly suicide bomb attack in Istanbul said on Wednesday (January 13) that he had no hard feelings towards Turkey.

Speaking at the city’s airport as he waited for the flight to take him back to Oslo, Norwegian tourist Jostein Nielsen, 59, said he didn’t blame Turkey for the attack.

“What is important for me is always to say that the only thing that can concur and hate and hatred is love and I believe if God’s love can flow through us we will have a better world. So we have no hard feelings. We know there are some mad people out there. No hard feelings towards Turkey for this,” Nielsen said.

A suicide bomber killed himself and 11 tourists in Istanbul’s historic heart on Tuesday (January 12) in an attack that Turkish authorities blamed on the Islamic State.

The bomber had registered with Turkish immigration authorities but was not on any list of known militant suspects, Turkey’s interior minister said on Wednesday.

The attack occurred in Sultanahmet square near the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, major tourist sites in one of the world’s most visited cities.

Nielsen, who suffered injuries to his leg in the attack, said he would be returning to the city to finish the tour he had paid for.

“I didn’t finish the tour you know. The tour I had bought, I suppose there is something remaining of the ticket. Because we only made it to the monument and the obelisk. So I still have to go to the Blue Mosque and the old Turkish bazaar. So I have to use that ticket,” Nielsen joked.

Turkey is a member of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and has become a target for the radical Sunni militants.

It was hit by two major bombings last year blamed on the group, in the largely Kurdish town of Suruc near the Syrian border and in the capital Ankara, the latter killing more than 100 people at a pro-Kurdish rally in the worst attack of its kind on Turkish soil.