Northlander Orhan Saroz postponed his annual trip to Istanbul this year partly on suspicion that all was not well on the terrorism front. He was dead right.

The Turk, who has lived and worked as a carpet dealer in Whangarei for 20 years, is sad that innocent people were killed after a gun and suicide attack on Istanbul's Ataturk Airport last week killed 42 people, including 13 foreigners.

Three attackers arrived in a taxi and began firing at the terminal entrance and blew themselves up after police fired back. Officials earlier said 239 people were injured, with 41 in intensive care.

No one has so far admitted carrying out the attack but Mr Saroz believes Islamic militant group Isis was behind the mayhem.


"I had a feeling it (a terrorist attack) could happen because the terrorist group from the mountain came into the (Istanbul) city. Then there's Turkey's long border with Syria and Iraq," Mr Saroz said.

"Isis is not happy, especially after Turkey made an agreement with Russia and Israel about two months ago as well as the Turkish Army's bombing of Isis targets."

Mr Saroz, 82, travels to Istanbul between June and September each year for business but has postponed this year's trip, partly on suspicion of a terrorist attack and partly due to his health.

"Next year when I travel, this problem (terrorism threat) may go away in Turkey but could move somewhere else. Isis is trying to kill Turkey's economy by targeting its tourism market," Mr Saroz said.

He said when he next travelled to Istanbul, he would avoid crowded areas.

One of the attackers blew himself up outside the terminal, while the other two detonated explosives inside. Footage shows one attacker moving through the building; he is shot by police and remains on the ground for about 20 seconds before blowing himself up.