Istanbul nightclub attack: Manhunt underway for shooter

Updated 10:00 PM EST, Sun January 1, 2017
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JANUARY 1: Turkish police secure the area at Ortakoy district near night club Reina on January 1, 2017 in Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin says at least 35 dead and 40 wounded at terror attack at Istanbul's famous night club of Reina in Bosphorus shores in the new year party.  (Photo by Stringer/Getty Images)
Burak Kara/Stringer/Getty Images
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JANUARY 1: Turkish police secure the area at Ortakoy district near night club Reina on January 1, 2017 in Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin says at least 35 dead and 40 wounded at terror attack at Istanbul's famous night club of Reina in Bosphorus shores in the new year party. (Photo by Stringer/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:16
Manhunt underway for Istanbul suspect
From Facebook
Now playing
02:30
At least 27 foreigners dead in Istanbul attack
erdogan on turkey massacre sot_00000000.jpg
erdogan on turkey massacre sot_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:27
Turkey's president on recent terror attack
Turkish police via Turkish media
Now playing
02:13
Police release new photo of Istanbul gunman
Surveillance footage of the suspect in the Turkey nightclub shooting. It is unknown when or where the surveillance video was shot from.
CNN Turk along with other Turkish media outlets say they obtained the photos from police.
CNN Turk
Surveillance footage of the suspect in the Turkey nightclub shooting. It is unknown when or where the surveillance video was shot from. CNN Turk along with other Turkish media outlets say they obtained the photos from police.
Now playing
01:11
Hunt is on for Turkey nightclub shooter
People react at the site of an armed attack January 1, 2017 in Istanbul.
At least two people were killed in an armed attack Saturday on an Istanbul nightclub where people were celebrating the New Year, Turkish television reports said. / AFP / YASIN AKGUL        (Photo credit should read YASIN AKGUL/AFP/Getty Images)
YASIN AKGUL/AFP/Getty Images
People react at the site of an armed attack January 1, 2017 in Istanbul. At least two people were killed in an armed attack Saturday on an Istanbul nightclub where people were celebrating the New Year, Turkish television reports said. / AFP / YASIN AKGUL (Photo credit should read YASIN AKGUL/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:44
Dozens killed at Turkish nightclub
DHA
Now playing
00:52
Istanbul attack: Video shows gunshots ricochet
istanbul turkey nightclub attack ian lee beeper_00011617.jpg
istanbul turkey nightclub attack ian lee beeper_00011617.jpg
Now playing
01:23
Turkey witness: I got shot in the leg
istanbul turkey nightclub attack vo nr_00002425.jpg
DHA
istanbul turkey nightclub attack vo nr_00002425.jpg
Now playing
00:48
Attacker reportedly opens fire at Turkey nightclub
An ambulance rushes from the scene of an attack in Istanbul, early Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. Turkey's state-run news agency said an armed assailant has opened fire at a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year's celebrations. (AP Photo/Halit Onur Sandal)
Halit Onur Sandal/AP
An ambulance rushes from the scene of an attack in Istanbul, early Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. Turkey's state-run news agency said an armed assailant has opened fire at a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year's celebrations. (AP Photo/Halit Onur Sandal)
Now playing
01:45
Turkish official: Signs point to 'jihadist attack'
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - DECEMBER 10:  (EDITOR'S NOTE: Image contains graphic content) Forensic policemen and officers attend the scene following a twin suicide bomb attack near to  Besiktas Vodaphone Arena on December 10, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. According to reports, at least 13 people were killed by a twin suicide bomb attack near to the Besiktas Vodaphone Arena, which is believed to have been targeting riot police. (Photo by Kurtulus Ari /Getty Images)
Kurtulus Ari/Getty Images
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - DECEMBER 10: (EDITOR'S NOTE: Image contains graphic content) Forensic policemen and officers attend the scene following a twin suicide bomb attack near to Besiktas Vodaphone Arena on December 10, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. According to reports, at least 13 people were killed by a twin suicide bomb attack near to the Besiktas Vodaphone Arena, which is believed to have been targeting riot police. (Photo by Kurtulus Ari /Getty Images)
Now playing
02:05
Why are attacks so frequent in Turkey?
A protester holds up a Turkish flag as others raise their hands during a demonstration in Taksim square in Istanbul on June 8, 2013. Thousands of angry Turks took to the streets on June 8 to join mass anti-government protests, defying Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's call to end the worst civil unrest of his decade-long rule. Erdogan, meanwhile, was meeting in Istanbul with top officials of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) to discuss the crisis, and a deputy prime minister was due to make a speech later on June 8. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Image
A protester holds up a Turkish flag as others raise their hands during a demonstration in Taksim square in Istanbul on June 8, 2013. Thousands of angry Turks took to the streets on June 8 to join mass anti-government protests, defying Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's call to end the worst civil unrest of his decade-long rule. Erdogan, meanwhile, was meeting in Istanbul with top officials of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) to discuss the crisis, and a deputy prime minister was due to make a speech later on June 8. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:09
Turkey: A country in turmoil

Story highlights

Of 39 people killed, 27 were foreigners, 11 were locals

One victim is still to be identified after the New Year's Eve attack

Turkish PM confident attacker will be found soon

(CNN) —  

A manhunt is underway in Turkey for an unknown attacker who opened fire on New Year’s revelers in an Istanbul nightclub.

At least 39 clubgoers were killed and nearly 70 were hospitalized after the suspect entered the Reina nightclub early Sunday and started shooting. The victims hailed from 14 countries, according to Turkey’s semi-official news agency Anadolu.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said he believes the attacker will be found soon.

“There is strong coordination and we will find him, no delay,” he told reporters gathered outside an Istanbul hospital, where Yildirim had been visiting people injured in the attack.

Despite no group yet claiming responsibility, Turkish authorities quickly characterized the attack as the work of terrorists.

“We are face to face with a terror attack,” Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters Sunday morning, adding, “the efforts to locate the terrorist are ongoing. Security forces have begun the necessary operations. God willing soon (the attacker) will be apprehended.”

World leaders, including Pope Francis, condemned the shooting. US officials also called it a terrorist attack, making it the first of 2017.

00:52 - Source: CNN
Istanbul attack: Video shows gunshots ricochet

Witnesses described how the festive evening turned into a bloodbath.

’We were having fun’

“We were having fun. At first we thought it was a fight, then there was a lot of gunfire,” witness Yunus Turk told CNN.

“After the gunfire everyone started to run toward the terrace. We ran as well. There was someone next to me who was shot and fell on the floor. We ran away and hid under the sofas.”

Some people jumped into the Bosphorus strait, he said, a testament to the panic that engulfed the nightspot. Temperatures were near freezing in Istanbul and yet people were willing to leap into the frigid waters to escape.

“For 10 minutes there was gunfire and then for another five minutes they were throwing bombs, fired a bit more, then left,” Turk recalled.

A security camera captured the moment a gunman dressed in dark clothing dashed into the nightclub as bullets ricocheted in the street. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told CNN sister network CNN Turk that the attacker was a lone assailant.

Ortakoy, where Reina is located, is a vibrant seaside neighborhood that caters to a wide range of people, from the uber-rich who party at clubs like Reina to students who buy stuffed baked potatoes from vendors along the Bosphorus.

Reina itself was one of the first clubs to open along the famous strait and remains a touchstone for Istanbul’s exclusive nightlife.