Consuls general in Istanbul march against terror
REUTERS photoConsuls general from 19 countries in Istanbul, as well as three Istanbul district mayors, marched against terrorism on March 22 on Istanbul’s İstiklal Avenue, the scene of a suicide attack on March 19 that killed five and wounded more than 30.
The 19 consuls general, accompanied by Beyoğlu Mayor Misbah Demircan, Fatih Mayor Mustafa Demir and Esenler Mayor Tevfik Göksu, walked to Galatasaray Square and then to the site of the attack in order to commemorate the victims and lay carnations.
“The consuls general of 19 countries in Istanbul themselves wanted to march in this initiative, which developed spontaneously today. It is a move to say ‘no’ to terror globally,” Demircan said.
He also stated that terrorism “relentlessly threatened humanity” and he expressed solidarity with Belgium after a series of attacks shook its capital Brussels on March 22.
Belgian Consul General in Istanbul Henri Marc Jose Vantieghem acknowledged Turkey’s support over the Brussels attacks and also condemned terror.
“I thank for support from Turkish people and messages of solidarity. The reason I am here now is the attack in Beyoğlu. Many people from different nationalities lost their lives here. They are attacking as those places are very cosmopolitan. So we have to fight in solidarity,” Vantieghem said.
U.S. consul general in Istanbul Charles Frederick Hunter also urged for cooperation among all countries in the struggle against terror, offering his condolences to both Turkey and Belgium.
Shai Shabati Cohen, the consul general in Istanbul for Israel, which lost three citizens on March 19, said he hoped the attack on İstiklal Avenue would be the last such attack.
“We thank the Turkish officials here. They provided all kinds of convenience both for Israeli citizens who lost their lives and the wounded. We should continue our cooperation. I hope the attack on the spot where we will lay our flowers will be the last terror attack for all of us,” Cohen said.
After making statements at the scene of the March 19 blast, the consul generals, mayors and tourism sector representatives visited the nearby Belgium Consulate in Istanbul.
The consulate was closed after the Brussels attacks as police took security measures in front of the building.