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UNT Professors Spending Summer In Turkey Despite Attacks

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Investigators in Turkey said the attacks at Ataturk International Airport are looking more and more like it was the work of ISIS.

Despite that possibility and the carnage seen there yesterday, a married couple who are professors at the University of North Texas said they feel safer in Turkey than in the United States.

James and Umut Thurman are spending the summer in Istanbul teaching as they do every year.

"Everyone is very upset about the tragedy and the innocent people killed, and a loss of a in a sense personal safety," said James Thurman.

But he also said there is one specific reason why he and his wife feel safer in Istanbul than back at home.

"I do feel safer particularly in the major city of Istanbul than I do in major cities in the U.S. with just concerns like in the U.S so many people having access to handguns and weaponry," he said.

Thurman said that even though the attack's death toll is more than 40, people in Turkey don't fear mass shootings like Americans do.

"These kinds of larger terrorist attacks or even larger sort of incident in public violence are far less common here," he said.

But according Chris Copeland, a security expert and associate professor at Tarleton State University in Fort Worth, that is just perception.

"We can expect more types of attacks like these. There is no way to defend against all of them. Its not a question of if but a question of when," said Copeland.

He said the reality is that not all attacks can be stopped and the best anyone can do is learn from them when they do happen to minimize the chances of it reoccurring.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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