Turkey, World

World leaders condemn Istanbul terror attack

NATO, EU states and Arab capitals express solidarity with Turkey in aftermath of attack on Istiklal Street

19.03.2016
World leaders condemn Istanbul terror attack

Ankara

ANKARA  

World leaders from around the globe have expressed their outrage at yet another terrorist attack in Turkey, this time on Istanbul’s famous Istiklal Street, which has left at least five people, including the bomber dead.

Turkish Deputy Health Minister Ahmet Baha Ogutken said earlier an Israeli national was among the dead. Also, out of the total injured, 24 are foreigners, Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said. 

EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn tweeted: "Extremely concerned about today's suicide bombing in Istanbul, another horrible act of terrorism in a series of violent attacks in Turkey. My thoughts and my sympathy are with the families of victims and all people affected. [I] condemn these acts of violence in the strongest term".

European Parliament President Martin Schulz also extended his condolences to the families of the victims and wished the injured a quick recovery.

EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "Another terrorist attack in Turkey. More innocent victims. I condemn it unequivocally. Our common fight against terrorism will continue".

British Consul-General in Istanbul Leigh Turner tweeted: "Shocked and saddened by news of #Istiklal bombing today. My thoughts are with all those affected and their families".

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said in a statement: "I strongly condemn this heinous and cowardly act, which caused the death of several people.

"I express my condolences to the families of the victims and solidarity of France with Turkey and the Turkish people in the fight against terrorism."

Greek Foreign Ministry said in its statement: "All of the Greek people and the Greek government express their abhorrence at the new terrorist attack that took place today in Istanbul and resulted in the death and injury of innocent citizens.

"We express our solidarity with the Turkish people and the deep condolences of the Greek people and the Greek government to the victims’ families."

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili also condemned the attack and said the latest terror attacks in Turkey are very worrying. 

Albanian Foreign Ministry said in its statement: "We express our most sincere condolences for the lives lost as a result of recent repeated barbaric acts in Turkey".

Albania stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the friendly Turkish government and people in their efforts in the fight against terrorism, it added.

Kosovo President-elect Hashim Thaci tweeted: “I’m shocked by yet another attack against Turkey in Istanbul. We express deepest sympathy and resolve to be by the side of the Turkish people”.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement that he condemned the terrorist attack in Istanbul.

"I strongly condemn this morning's terrorist attack on a pedestrian avenue in central Istanbul, [which is] yet another terrorist outrage targeting innocent civilians and our ally Turkey,” Stoltenberg said.

"My deepest sympathies go out to the families of the victims, and to the people of Turkey. My thoughts are also with all those who have been injured."

"There can be no justification for terrorism. NATO allies stand with Turkey, united in our determination to fight terrorism in all its forms," he added.

The U.S. Consulate in Istanbul tweeted: "Saddened, shocked by explosion in Istiklal. We mourn with families of the lost, and we wish the injured a speedy recovery."

The U.S. State Department said America would remain in close touch with Turkish authorities during the investigation. 

"The United States stands in solidarity with our NATO ally Turkey in combating the common threat of terrorism," spokesman John Kirby said in a written statement. 

"This vicious attack is the latest in a series of indefensible violence targeting innocent people throughout Turkey -- Turkish citizens and international visitors alike." 

Pakistan also strongly condemned the attack.

"We are deeply anguished and saddened to learn about the suicide bomb blast in which several innocent lives have been lost," Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"As always, Pakistan stands in strong solidarity with the brotherly people of Turkey and is sure in its belief that they will succeed in their resolute fight against terrorism and defeat this scourge decisively," it added.

A number of Arab states also condemned Saturday’s attack. 

"Qatar condemns these criminal acts, which are incompatible with the principles of Islam, human values and international law," the Qatari Foreign Ministry said in a statement. 

Qatar, it added, "reaffirms its solidarity with the brotherly Republic of Turkey and supports any action it might take to preserve its security and stability". 

Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani, for his part, also condemned Saturday’s suicide bombing in Istanbul, which he described as "a cowardly terrorist attack on civilians". 

According to Jordan’s official news agency, al-Momani -- who also serves as Jordan’s Information Minister -- went on to stress his government’s "solidarity with the Turkish government in its fights terrorism".

Kuwait’s official news agency, meanwhile, reported that Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah had sent a note of condolence to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which he conveyed his country’s condemnation of "this heinous terrorist act". 

The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization also condemned the attack. "We harshly condemn this heinous attack against innocent civilians," it said.



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