Two masked attackers shot and killed one person during a church service on Sunday in Istanbul, Turkish officials said. The motive was not immediately clear.
The attack took place at about 11:40 a.m. at the Santa Maria church, an Italian Catholic church in the Sariyer district of Istanbul, the interior minister, Ali Yerlikaya, wrote on the social media platform X. Mr. Yerlikaya gave only the victim’s initials, C.T., and said that an investigation into the shooting was underway and that the authorities were looking for the assailants.
“Such provocations will never be allowed in our country,” Akif Cagatay Kilic, a top adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, wrote on X. “The perpetrators will be caught as soon as possible and held accountable before justice.”
The government-appointed governor of Istanbul, Davut Gul, said in televised remarks at the scene that the victim was a 52-year-old Turkish citizen.
“Two masked assailants went in, shot at someone and that person was killed,” Mr. Gul said.
Pope Francis expressed sympathy for the Santa Maria church community. And Italy’s foreign minister, Antonio Tajani, stated his “sorrow and firm condemnation” of the killing in a post on X.
“We will never allow those who try to destroy our unity and peace by attacking the religious places of our city,” Istanbul’s mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, wrote on X.
The authorities did not provide further details about the attack or about whether the assailants were suspected of links to any terrorist group.
The Islamic State has been linked to several attacks in Turkey in recent years, including a massacre at a nightclub in Istanbul in 2017, when a lone gunman killed dozens of people during New Year’s celebrations.