This is the shocking moment a man dressed as a grim reaper set himself on fire in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city.
Horror footage too graphic to publish shows the man, his body completely consumed in flames, raising his arms to the sky before falling to his knees.
It took place in front of the famous Galata Tower in Istanbul, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Turkey.
The distraught man, dressed as a grim reaper in black robes and carrying a scythe and a can of petrol in his hands, was reportedly seen walking around for some time before setting himself on fire.
In the clip, passersby watch in horror as flames erupt from the man’s body, while some even appear to be taking selfies.
A man and woman hold up a phone with their backs to the sickening events taking place behind them.
Finally, two workers from nearby shops and restaurants grab fire extinguishers and are able to put out the flames.
According to reports from Turkey, it is not clear why the man committed such a gruesome act of self-immolation and the extent of his injuries is unknown.
A video later shared online by Turkish media appears to show the aftermath of the incident.
In it, the man waves his arms and speaks to authorities, raising hopes that he may have survived.
Many Twitter users commented on why none of the onlookers did anything to help.
Middle East Eye Turkey bureau chief Ragip Soylu tweeted: “Someone in Istanbul’s Galata has set themselves on fire. Some tourists kept taking selfies while the guy burned.”
Another wrote: “It was a tragedy for those who watched and photographed the man who burned himself in Galata yesterday.
“But this man burned himself, the clothes and the fact that among those taking selfies was a woman in a red dress when he burned himself. If you collect all this, you will have to think more carefully!”
Some tourists continued to take selfies while the guy burned
However, pictures reportedly taken on the same day show the man in his Grim Reaper costume posing for photos with tourists, suggesting many people may have believed it was a performance.
The authorities did not provide any information on the severity of the man’s injuries.
The horror unfolded in front of the historic 1,500-year-old stone tower in the Beyoglu district, which is incredibly popular with tourists.
In 2019, Istanbul was the ninth most popular tourist destination in the world with more than 14.7 million foreign visitors.
Before the Covid pandemic, the UK was Turkey’s third largest tourism market, with almost 2.6 million Brits traveling to the country in 2019.
In 2020 alone, more than 200,000 Britons visited Istanbul, despite the disruption caused by the Covid pandemic.
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