World condemns Gaziantep suicide attack, offers solidarity to Turkey
A family member of a victim of a suicide bombing at a wedding celebration mourn over his coffin during a funeral ceremony in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep, Turkey, August 21, 2016. REUTERS photoThe United States and the U.N. have sent strong messages of condemnation and solidarity after a suicide attack likely carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) killed at least 54 people, including 29 children, at an Aug. 20 wedding ceremony in the southeastern province of Gaziantep.
Calling the attack “barbaric,” U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass reaffirmed Washington’s solidarity with Turkey in the joint fight against terrorism.
“We stand by our ally Turkey and pledge to continue to work closely together to defeat the common threat of terrorism,” said a written statement by Bass posted Aug. 21 on the official Twitter account of the U.S. Embassy to Turkey.
The White House also issued a statement on Aug. 21 in which it condemned the deadly attack.
“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms yesterday’s terrorist attack in Gaziantep, Turkey. The perpetrators of this barbaric act cynically and cowardly targeted a wedding, killing dozens and leaving scores wounded. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those killed, and we wish a speedy recovery to those injured. We stand with the people of Turkey as they defend their democracy in the face of all forms of terrorism,” read the statement from U.S. National Security Council Spokesperson Ned Price.
Russian President Vladimir Putin also strongly condemned the attack, saying the fact that a wedding was chosen as a target once again showed that “terrorism knows no ethics.”
“The crime committed in the midst of a wedding celebration astonishes with its cruelty and cynicism. We have once again seen that terrorism does not recognize not only the laws of a civilized society, but also the most basic norms of human morality,” Putin said in a letter to Erdoğan.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also condemned the bombing in a statement.
“The secretary-general condemns yesterday’s terrorist attack on a wedding party in the city of Gaziantep, Turkey,” Ban’s office said in a statement.
“This act, reportedly carried out by a suicide bomber, killed at least 50 people and wounded dozens of others,” the U.N. chief said. “The Secretary-General expresses his deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the government and people of Turkey. He wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.”
“The Secretary-General hopes that the perpetrators of this act will be quickly identified and brought to justice,” the U.N. statement added.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn jointly offered their “deepest condolences” to Turkey over the attack.
The two also underlined Aug. 21 that Brussels and Ankara are “in a common fight,” while voicing the EU’s commitment to “together to protect security, democracy and peace.”
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has also condemned the attack saying: “I want to express my condolences to the families of the victims of Gaziantep attack.”
Pope Francis offered prayers for the attack’s victims, according to official Vatican Radio.
France, Greece, Azerbaijan, Britain, Sweden, Qatar, Pakistan, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt were among the other countries that offered their condolences and condemned the attack.