Istanbul attack condemned worldwide
AP photoTurkey received an outpouring of solidarity messages from across the world on Jan. 12, after a suicide bomber killed at least 10 people, including many tourists, in the busy and popular historic neighborhood of Sultanahmet in the country’s largest city, Istanbul.
The European Union said it stood with Turkey in the fight “against all forms of terrorism” after the explosion in the heart of Istanbul.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Jan. 12 that both sides “must step up our efforts to counter extremist violence” and noted this had been set as a priority at a November 2015 EU-Turkey summit in Brussels.
The Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly president, Anne Brasseur, “strongly condemned” the attack while expressing her support for Turkey and condolences to the Turkish people.
“Turkey can count on our support in combating terrorism and violent extremism. It is the duty of all democratic political forces to stand up against radicalization and the hatred that fuels violent extremism and terrorism,” Brasseur’s statement said.
The official twitter account of the United States Embassy in Ankara posted a tweet quoting U.S. Ambassador John Bass saying the U.S. was “closely following reports” on the explosion.
“Our thoughts are with those affected,” the tweet said.
The official Twitter account of the British ambassador to Turkey posted a tweet expressing “concern” at reports of the Sultanahmet explosion.
“In touch with Turkish authorities. Thoughts with those injured. Nationalities of victims currently unknown,” the tweet said.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg strongly condemned the terrorist attack in the metropolis and extended his condolences to the families of the victims. “My thoughts are with those injured, with the Turkish people, and with all the other nations affected,” he said.
“There can be no justification for such attacks. All NATO allies stand united in the fight against all forms of terrorism,” Stoltenberg added.
The Greek foreign affairs ministry released an official statement on its website, condemning the attack.
“We unequivocally condemn the abhorrent terrorist suicide attack that took place this morning in Istanbul,” the statement said, adding that Greece stood in solidarity with the Turkish people.
Italy’s prime minister also expressed support for Turkey after the “agonizing” attack in Sultanahmet Square.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said countries attacked by terrorism should stand together.
Speaking after a party meeting at the national assembly, he added: “France, Turkey, all countries that are attacked by terrorism need solidarity and [to] implement all necessary means to fight against the terrorist threat.”
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted: “On behalf of the Parisians, my full support to the families and relatives of victims of the attack that occurred in Istanbul.”
In a Twitter message, EU Pesident Donald Tusk said: “I condemn the brutal terrorist attack in Istanbul today. My thoughts are with the victims.”
The union’s ambassador to Turkey, Hansjorg Haber, tweeted: “While awaiting official information about the cause of this tragedy, our thoughts are with families, friends & all citizens of Turkey.”
Meanwhile, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni reportedly called Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to extend his condolences.
“Italy and Turkey are more determined than ever to combat terrorism,” Gentiloni was quoted as saying in a statement by the Italian foreign ministry.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu informed German Chancellor Angela Merkel that most of the victims were German and extended his condolences. Davutoğlu reportedly told Merkel that an investigation was being carried out delicately and that all necessary information would be shared with German authorities.
Iran foreign ministry spokesperson Hüseyin Cabiri Ensari strongly condemned the attack in a written statement.
Egypt has also condemned “the terror attack” in Istanbul in a written statement.
Egypt foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Ebu Zeyd called on the international community to “unite against terrorism” in a written statement.
Qatar also voiced its support to Turkey in a statement in which the blast was condemned strongly. Pakistan also condemned the attack.
Hamas has also released a written statement condemning the Istanbul attack.
The Spanish government has also released a written statement condemning the attack.
Former Turkish President Abdullah Gül expressed his condolences to the families of the attack’s victims and urged for unity against terror.
“Our citizens should support the government and the state in all related manners and act in accordance to its demands,” Gül told reporters. Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş extended condolences to the families of the victims who lost their lives in the blast, which he called a “brutal massacre.”
“We condemn the massacre in Sultanahmet. We will not stop following [the blast] so as not to let it be left in the dark and to reveal the ones responsible,” Demirtaş said, while addressing a parliamentary group meeting of his party.
Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik posted a tweet condemning the “vile” attack in Sultanahmet.
“May God rest the victims’ souls,” the tweet said, while wishing a quick recovery to all those wounded in the explosion.