World condemns terror attack at Istanbul airport
AFP photoLeaders from around the world issued statements, condemning the terror attack on Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport on June 28 which left at least 41 people dead and 239 others injured.
The U.S. President Barack Obama called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on June 29 saying he harshly condemned the terror attack in Istanbul while expressing his condolences to Erdoğan and all Turkish people.
Earlier in the day, American officials also issued statements in which they condemned the attack. White House spokesman Josh Earnest called the attack “heinous,” while also pledging “steadfast” support for the country.
“Atatürk International Airport, like Brussels Airport which was attacked earlier this year, is a symbol of international connections and the ties that bind us together,” Earnest said in a statement.
“We remain steadfast in our support for Turkey, our NATO ally and partner, along with all of our friends and allies around the world, as we continue to confront the threat of terrorism,” he added.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner also said the attack was “only the latest in a series of attacks aimed at killing and maiming innocent civilians.”
“Such attacks will only reinforce our determination to work with the government of Turkey to counter the scourge of terrorism and support all those across the region who are working to promote peace and reconciliation,” he said in a statement.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin sent a letter of condolence early on June 29 to Erdoğan following the terror attack. “I write to express my heartfelt condolences to you and the entire Turkish people, following the brutal terror attack on the Ataturk airport last night,” he said.
“This cowardly, murderous act is an example of the most vitriolic hatred the like of which we are sadly seeing across our region and the entire world today. I take this opportunity to welcome the chance to renew our good relationship especially because our strengthened dialogue will greatly aid in our joint efforts against this threat, and because it sends a strong message to the terrorists that we will stand untied against hatred,” said Rivlin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called Erdoğan on June 29, delivering his condolences for the deadly terror attack.
“Mr. Putin has also expressed his profound condolences following the terrorist attack at Istanbul airport that caused numerous casualties. He passed on his words of sympathy to the victims’ families and wished a swift recovery to all who were injured. Both presidents stressed the need to activate international cooperation to combat the terrorist threat that poses a danger to all countries,” said a statement posted on the Russian presidency’s official website.
British Prime Minister David Cameron also shared the country’s support for Turkey.
“Appalled by attack in Istanbul tonight. Thoughts and prayers with all those affected,” he said.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he was shocked by the attack in a tweet, adding: “Thoughts are with those affected. We stand ready to help.”
Europe Minister David Lidington’s tweet read: “Another horrific terrorist attack in Istanbul. It’s in our interest to intensify work with Turkey to defeat terrorism.”
In addition, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he was shocked when he heard the news. “Our thoughts go out the people of Turkey. Germany stands by them.”
The foreign minister of France, Jean-Marc Ayrault, also tweeted that he was shocked, adding that the French consulate in Istanbul was ready to work with Turkey.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also condemned the attack, calling for increased cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
Ban “condemns today’s terrorist attack” and “expresses his deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the government and people of Turkey,” his spokesman said in a statement.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also condemned the attack.
“I condemn the attacks at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport. My thoughts are with the families of the victims, the injured and the people of Turkey,” Stoltenberg tweeted.
Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland wrote via Twitter that the EU stands by Turkey.
“Our member state Turkey [has suffered] another deadly terrorist attack. We stand by you in these troubling times,” he said.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini described the deadly attack as “another tragic terrorist attack in Turkey. The EU stands by the Turkish people. Our heart is with them all.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif condemned the attack while also calling for a global fight against terrorism.
“Terror rears its ugly head yet again in our friend and neighbor’s airport. Extremist violence is a global threat; we must confront it together,” he tweeted.
On Saudi Arabia’s official news agency SPA, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud expressed his condolences to Erdoğan.