World leaders condemn Istanbul terror attack
AA photoWorld leaders from around the globe have expressed their outrage at yet another terrorist attack in Turkey, this time on Istanbul’s famous Istiklal Street, which has left at least five people dead, including the bomber.
The attack killed three Israelis and one Iranian, while the bomber was identified as a Turk with Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) links. Two of the Israeli victims were also U.S. citizens.
“Two American citizens were among those killed in this heinous attack,” a statement issued by the National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price said, while condemning the attack which also wounded 39 others in central Istanbul.
The U.S. Department of State has also strongly condemned the attack.
“The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack today on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and our hopes for a quick recovery for those wounded. We will remain in close touch with Turkish authorities during the investigation,” U.S. State spokesperson John Kirby said in a statement, showing solidarity with their NATO ally.
“Saddened, shocked by explosion on İstiklal. We mourn with families of the lost, and we wish the injured a speedy recovery,” the official site of the U.S. consulate in Istanbul twitted.
British Consul-General in Istanbul Leigh Turner tweeted: “Shocked and saddened by news of #Istiklal bombing today. My thoughts are with all those affected and their families.”
The Dutch Consul General in Istanbul, Robert Schuddeboom, shared a picture of an empty İstiklal Avenue late March 19 after the bombing.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement that he condemned the terrorist attack in Istanbul.
“I strongly condemn this morning’s terrorist attack on a pedestrian avenue in central Istanbul, [which is] yet another terrorist outrage targeting innocent civilians and our ally Turkey,” Stoltenberg said.
EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn raised concerns. “Extremely concerned about today’s suicide bombing in Istanbul, another horrible act of terrorism in a series of violent attacks in Turkey. My thoughts and my sympathy are with the families of victims and all people affected. [I] condemn these acts of violence in the strongest term,” he said in a tweet.
European Parliament President Martin Schulz also extended his condolences to the families of the victims and wished the injured a quick recovery.
EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said, “Another terrorist attack in Turkey. More innocent victims. I condemn it unequivocally. Our common fight against terrorism will continue.”
“I strongly condemn this heinous and cowardly act, which caused the death of several people,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said in a statement.
“I express my condolences to the families of the victims and solidarity of France with Turkey and the Turkish people in the fight against terrorism,” he said.
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili also condemned the attack, while calling the latest terror attacks in Turkey “very worrying.”
Albanian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, “We express our most sincere condolences for the lives lost as a result of recent repeated barbaric acts in Turkey.”
Meanwhile, Kosovo President-elect Hashim Thaci tweeted, “I’m shocked by yet another attack against Turkey in Istanbul. We express deepest sympathy and resolve to be by the side of the Turkish people.”
Pakistan and a number of Arab states also condemned the attack.
“Qatar condemns these criminal acts, which are incompatible with the principles of Islam, human values and international law,” the Qatari Foreign Ministry said in a statement.