Pure luck and incredible fortuity which kept him alive, as well as hours of panic and never experienced fear, are things that will mark the celebration of the new year 2017 for the former basketball national team member of Sweden and Croatia, the 31-year-old Damir Markota. Markota has been playing for Istanbul BB for the second season already.
“We headed towards Reina, but my friend who works there did not pick up his phone so we did not even enter. It was raining; my wife and I hid under eaves of a bus station and waited there for a while. Since he did not respond, we went to Anjelique. We were in there for about ten minutes, it is hard for me to say exactly how long, when the DJ interrupted the program, shut the music down and started speaking in Turkish.
We could not understand a thing, but when we saw people crying and running we realized that something terrible happened. Soon we heard that there was a bomb and gunfire in Reina and that is when we started panicking, we froze. Actually, I do not even know how to describe that feeling. It was a mixture of fear, luck for being alive, but you actually feel numb and empty.
I knew that the same man owns both clubs so I did not know if the attack will continue. The seaside is near, it is the most frequent place in the city, and Reina is the most popular Turkish club where there are always politicians, wealthy and influential people, and their children.
Around four or five in the morning we left the hotel where we hid. It was terrible there as well. People were falling on their knees, crying… Even some wounded people came. It was horrible.
This is the third time already. First it was Taksim, then Besiktas stadium which I pass by every day, and now we almost got killed. If I stay until the end of the season, my wife and my son will certainly not visit me here,” said the Bosnian-born Damir.