Erdoğan calls Obama, Yıldırım calls Biden, extend condolences for Orlando hate crime
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
AA photoTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım have separately called their U.S. counterparts in order to extend condolences on the June 12 shooting attack on an LGBT nightclub in Orlando.
Both Erdoğan and Yıldırım initiated calls to their respective counterparts, U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, late on June 15, almost four days after 49 people were killed in Orlando in a gunman’s rampage.
In Washington, the White House said Obama spoke by telephone with Erdoğan and accepted his condolences on the June 12 shooting attack.
“Both leaders reaffirmed their shared commitment to combat all forms of violent extremism,” the White House said in a statement.
In Ankara, sources from the Turkish president’s office said Erdoğan told Obama that the Orlando shooting “once again” revealed the need for the international community to be together in the struggle against terrorism. He also said Islam must not be associated with terrorism, adding that terrorism was “one of the greatest crimes against humanity.”
Yıldırım also called Biden and condemned the Orlando shooting, while noting that Turkey shared America’s grief.
Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old U.S. citizen born in New York to Afghan immigrant parents, also wounded 53 people in a three-hour-long rampage which began around 2 a.m. early June 12 inspired by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) that stands as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
The attack has drawn swift condemnation from the Turkish Foreign Ministry, as it released an official, yet one-sentence-long, written statement, hours after the attack, as of June 12.
“We condemn the terrorist attack perpetrated in Orlando in the U.S. today, resulting reportedly in the death of many people and we convey our condolences to the American people,” said the Foreign Ministry statement.