ISTANBUL, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Sunday to fight against terrorism "to the end," hours after a shooting attack on a night club in Istanbul left 39 dead.
In a written statement, the president voiced his determination to continue the struggle against terrorism, saying "as a nation we will fight to the end against not just the armed attacks of groups and the forces behind them, but also against economic, political and social attacks."
"We are aware that these attacks carried out by different terrorist organizations targeting our citizens are not independent from incidents happening in our region," he said. "We are determined to destroy the attacks and threats against our country from its root."
Early Sunday morning, a gunman stormed into a popular night club known as Reina in the district of Besiktas, and shot at hundreds of people gathering there for New Year celebrations, killing 39 people and injuring 69 others, with four in critical condition, according to the Turkish authorities.
Foreigners are among the casualties, a fact that is believed to further hit Turkey's flagging tourism.
Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin described the shooting spree as an act of terrorism. The police are still hunting the gunman who slipped out of the night club in chaos.
Istanbul and other Turkish cities have come under a spate of deadly attacks over the past year, with the last one also hitting Besiktas on Dec. 10, in which twin suicide bombing attacks left 44 dead.
Tight security measures had reportedly been enforced in Ankara and Istanbul for New Year celebrations, including banning entry of trucks, lorries and concrete mixers into some districts.
The U.S. embassy in Ankara, in a message posted on its website on Dec. 23, had advised Americans to stay away from public gatherings for holiday celebrations in Turkey, citing increased security concerns across the country.