Dozens of people have been killed as they celebrated New Year at a Turkish nightclub in a suspected terror attack.
Officials said at least one gunman reportedly wearing a Santa costume murdered a police officer and a civilian outside Istanbul’s famed Reina nightclub before bursting inside.
The attacker opened fire into the crowd of up to 700 people, killing at least 35 and injuring dozens more in the Ortakoy distrt
Medics carry a wounded person after an attack at a popular nightclub in Istanbul on 1 January (AP)
Local reports said some people jumped into the waters of the Bosphorus strait to escape the massacre, which started shortly before 1.30am local time (11.30pm GMT).
CCTV footage from inside the club was broadcast by Turkish media, appearing to show a gunman dressed as Father Christmas walking through abandoned drinks booths.
One survivor said she had to climb out from beneath bodies inside the nightclub to flee the attack, where her husband was injured.
“Before I could understand what was happening, my husband fell on top me,” Sinem Uyanik told the Associated Press outside Istanbul’s Sisli Hospital. “I had to lift several bodies from on top of me before I could get out.”
Vasip Sahin, the governor of Istanbul, described the event as a “terror attack” but did not name who he thought responsible.
He said one police officer was among at least 35 people killed using a long-barrelled weapon, with 40 others taken to hospital for treatment.