World condemns Istanbul attack, voice solidarity
REUTERS photoLeaders from around the world condemned a terror attack at an Istanbul nightclub early on Jan. 1 that killed at least 39 people and injured 69 others.
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Kremlin said in a statement.
Putin said it was “hard” to imagine a “more cynical” crime than the murder of innocent civilians during New Year’s holiday.
“But, the terrorists are absolutely alien to the concept of human morality,” he added.
Putin said common duty would be responding “decisively” to terrorist aggression.
White House spokesman Eric Schulz said President Barack Obama “expressed condolences for the innocent lives lost, directed his team to offer inappropriate assistance to the Turkish authorities, as necessary and keep him updated as warranted.”
Obama “reaffirmed the support of the U.S. for Turkey, our NATO ally, in our shared determination to confront and defeat all forms of terrorism,” National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson Ned Price said.
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Washington “strongly condemns the terrorist attack.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg posted a Twitter message, lamenting a “tragic start to 2017 in Istanbul”.
“My thoughts are with those affected by the attack on people celebrating New Year and with the Turkish people,” Stoltenberg said.
Pope Francis departed from his prepared text in his New Year’s address to condemn the attack.
“Unfortunately, violence has stricken even in this night of good wishes and hope. Pained, I express my closeness to the Turkish people. I pray for the many victims and for the wounded and for the entire nation in mourning,” he said.
“I ask the Lord to sustain all men of good will to courageously roll up their sleeves to confront the plague of terrorism and this stain of blood that is covering the world with a shadow of fear and a sense of loss,” he added.
President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz stated on Twitter: “It was supposed to be a night of celebration: terrorists turned it into one of violence, death, despair. My thoughts with Istanbul, Turkey.”
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini tweeted: “Our thoughts are with victims and their loved ones. We continue to work to prevent these tragedies.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said in a statement that “the attack against an Istanbul nightclub is an attack against the whole humanity.”
“Our hearts are with the Turkish people at this difficult time. I offer my condolences to the families of the victims and well-wishes to the injured,” Rivlin added.
Greece issued a condemnation message on the foreign ministry website, expressing their full solidarity with the Turkish people and sent out sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded.
President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev condemned the terror attack in a statement on his website, wishing quick recovery for the wounded people.
“We are extremely angry because of this treacherous attack against the civilians. We support the toughest, decisive and continuous fight against terrorism,” Aliyev added.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault voiced solidarity with Turkey in a post on the micro-blogging website. “With all heart we are with Turkey which was terribly struck in this symbolic night.”
Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs on Twitter said: “Canada offers its condolences to families of victims and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured in tonight’s horrendous attack in Istanbul.”
Foreign Minister of Austria, Sebastian Kurz said: “Terrible beginning of the New Year in Istanbul. My sincere condolences to the friends and families of the victims.”