Palmerston North family lucky to escape Istanbul blast

Nathaniel Satya, his wife Rani (not pictured) and their two children were staying at a hotel in Sultanahmet, Istanbul, ...
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Nathaniel Satya, his wife Rani (not pictured) and their two children were staying at a hotel in Sultanahmet, Istanbul, which they left just hours before a terrorist attack.

A Palmerston North family have narrowly missed a terrorist attack that killed 10 people in Istanbul, the latest in a string of near misses for the travellers.

In the past four weeks, Nathaniel Satya, his wife Rani and their children Neelay, 14, and Ayesha,12, have narrowly avoided a nearby hotel fire in Dubai, shootings in Egypt and now a terrorist attack in the Turkish city.

The couple were staying at the Best Western hotel in Sultanahmet – the area of the bomb blast.


An explosion in central Istanbul has claimed the lives of at least 10 people, wounding some 15 others.

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Nathaniel Satya told Stuff there was a small gap of just 2 1/2 hours between their flight to Athens and the deadly explosions. 

"Every day we are walking through this area where the bomb exploded.

"We are so lucky that the blast didn't happen earlier."

He said the family were "stunned" to hear about the attack and never imagined such an imminent attack in a peaceful country.

"We were thinking it could easily have been us if we had stayed back another day. It still gives a fright when we think about it."

He said he and his family were "quite lucky" they had managed to keep out of harm's way during their four-week-trip in Asia and the Middle East.

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"The day we left Dubai there was a fire in a hotel nearby and the day we left Egypt there were shootings on tourists where we had been the day before and now this ... so we are counting our lucky stars."

Until the recent events, the family had had a great trip and thought Turkey was a beautiful country. 

"We never noticed anything that would cause us to be concerned, so this news of the explosion was a sudden check to reality in this region."

Satya's parents, Ezekiel and Margaret Satya said they found out their son and family were safe through a snapchat message their granddaughter sent from Greece.

They were very "worried and afraid" about their family's safety, but when the snapchat came through it was a huge relief.

Nathaniel Satya said the attack was very sad and he felt sorry for his friends who were still in Istanbul. 

Nathaniel Satya told TVNZ when he heard about the attack in Istanbul it "really shook" him.

"Only a few hours back we were right in the hot spot.

"To have this happen in Istanbul, where we have just left – to hear that there is a bomb blast is a bit on the worrying side for us."

 - Stuff

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