Struggling to return to normal: Istanbul's airport after the attacks

In the area where relatives normally wait to pick up their loved ones yawns a huge hole in the ceiling. Someone has erected a privacy screen that attempts to shield visitors from the damage in the arrivals section of Istanbul's airport. A picture of Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey for whom the airport is named, hangs next to the display boards broken in Tuesday night's blasts.

News about the terrorist attack that left dozens dead and more than 200 injured continues to roll in. According to the latest reports, at least three suicide bombers blew themselves up at multiple locations.

A shop assistant shakes her head when asked if she worked that night, saying: "One of our employees is hurt. It's so horrible."

The shock runs deep after the fourth serious attack since the start of this year in Istanbul. Officials are trying to return to normal as quickly as possible; flight operations officially resumed that night.

Arriving passengers must now walk by where the explosion happened, and where the bullets marred the walls. It's all too apparent how strong the detonations must have been - workers standing on ladders hammer at the walls while cleaning crews sweep up glass shards.

Despite the crews' best efforts, the blinking display boards are a tell-tale sign that things are far from normal, informing passengers of flight delays and cancellations. Some tourists waited for hours on the lawn in front of the main airport entrance before being put up.

And the wait for more information continues. Katja Veen is one of them. The Dutch-German woman actually wanted to go to Johannesburg. "They just told me that my flight was also cancelled today," she says over the phone. She doesn't know much more than that.

The Memioglus, however, say they've had no issues. The pair from the western German city of Ludwigshafen said their flight was leaving for Frankfurt as planned. The 77-year-old Haydar and his wife, Sewin, are from Turkey and regularly visit Istanbul. But they've grown more and more worried about their trips. "Right now the whole country is uneasy. Something is always happening again and again in Istanbul or Ankara. It's terrible."

Last update: Wed, 29/06/2016 - 19:21

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