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Turkish immigrants in Connecticut heartbroken over Istanbul airport bombing

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WATERBURY – The management and staff at Sultan’s Turkish Restaurant in Waterbury, who immigrated from Turkey years ago, still feel very connected to their home country. When tragedy strikes, they feel even closer.

“We always follow the news. Recently there have been a couple more bombings in Turkey, but what happened today is really heartbreaking,” said Selcuk Ergin, kitchen manager at Sultan’s.

On Tuesday, three suicide bombers targeted Istanbul’s Ataturk airport killing at least 36 people and injuring more than 140, according to Turkey’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag.

AT&T announced that it will waive or credit charges incurred for consumer or business calls placed by AT&T’s customers from the United States to Turkey between June 28,  to June 30,  in the local time zone. This includes landline, texting, and mobility calls.

Turkish officials say the attackers arrived at the airport in a taxi and blew themselves up in at the entrance of the international terminal after opening fire with guns.

“I saw it on social media and I right away called my wife because my brother-in-law and his family went to turkey actually yesterday,” said Sultan’s owner Selim Ergin.

He later learned his brother-in-law had made it out of the international terminal safely just two hours before those bombs went off. A staff member at the restaurant had also traveled through that terminal the day prior. The airport is the 11th busiest in the world, and the third busiest in Europe.

The FAA has grounded all flights to and from Istanbul following the attack.

“Innocent people died. You know, people who had nothing to do with terrorism died. It doesn’t matter what race, what religion, whatever they were. It happens to humanity. We’re actually losing humanity here,” said Selim Ergin.

Selcuk Ergin said, “I know for a fact that Turkish people are very strong and they never back down or anything. As a country, they will get through this too.”

With additional reporting by the Associated Press