World condemns Istanbul terror attack

Messages of condolences, ‘solidarity’ pour in after deadly attack

Anadolu Agency
The United Nations on Sunday joined world leaders in denouncing twin deadly terror attacks near a football stadium in Istanbul that martyred at least 38 people and injured 155 others.

The Security Council "condemned in the strongest terms the heinous and cowardly terrorist attacks", warning against terrorism as "one of the most serious threats to international peace and security".

The White House also condemned the attacks and pledged solidarity with Turkey.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families and loved ones, and to all the people of Turkey," National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

"We stand together with Turkey, our NATO Ally, against all terrorists who threaten Turkey, the United States, and global peace and stability. "

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the "U.K. [was] committed to working with Turkey to tackle terrorism," while the head of the UN Ban Ki-moon “hopes that the perpetrators of this terrorist act will be swiftly identified and brought to justice".

After the "horrific acts of terror" NATO was “determined to fight terrorism in all its forms", Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement.

Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion issued a statement on social media. "Our thoughts are with victims and families and the people of Turkey," Dion said.

Iraqi President Fuad Masum sent a message of condolence to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the terror attacks in Istanbul.

“We share the same sadness and feelings with you because of this disgusting crime, and we declare the Iraqi people's full solidarity with the friendly Turkish people against the risk of terrorism," Masum said.

Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki of Macedonia, Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter and EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, each expressed their sympathies for the attacks in separate telephone calls with Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

European Parliament president Martin Schulz, Council of Europe secretary general Daniel Holtgen and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini each issued statements that voiced “solidarity" with Turkey.

French President Francois Hollande and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier each denounced the attacks while Chancellor Angela Merkel personally expressed her condolences to President Erdogan during a telephone call Sunday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his condolences for the victims and condemned "this cowardly, cynical crime".

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev urged "a resolute fight against any kind of terrorism", joining Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili who each expressed similar sentiments.

The government of Singapore denounced the attacks and Malaysia said they were "inhumane" while Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain said the blasts could not shake the resolve of the Turkish people and the government in their war against terrorism.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he and the citizens of his country were saddened by the incident, and the country's foreign minister warned "those who want to undermine the unity of Turkey will never succeed".

The football world also joined the chorus of condemnation.

European football's governing body, UEFA, sent its support to the Turkish Football Federation, Besiktas and Bursaspor football clubs for "the horrible act" and said the league offered its “deepest condolences to the families of all the victims of tonight's bombing in Istanbul." The bombings occurred shortly after a Turkish league football match between Besiktas and Bursaspor.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite sent her condolences in a message to Erdogan.

President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine said that "there cannot be a justification" for the attacks. And Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajov said: "Solidarity against barbarism and terror. We would like to send our sincere solidarity and support messages to Turkish authorities in these difficult times."

In India, the foreign ministry said the “shameful attack in Istanbul underscores the need for the world community to find a common solution to the scourge of terrorism."

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom and Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo conveyed condolences.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned the bomb attacks in Istanbul "in the strongest terms".

Expressing his sorrow over "these criminal and cowardly acts that run contrary to the spirit and teachings of Islam and humanity," the Secretary General of the OIC, Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen offered "his sincere condolences to the families of the victims, the Government and the people of Turkey" and wished early recovery to the injured people.

Al-Othaimeen also reiterated the principled position of the OIC against all forms and manifestations of terrorism.

Lebanon's Future political movement, known also as Al-Mustaqbal and led by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, said: "Terror is killing people without discriminating between Muslims and Christians and trying to destroy communities by dividing them."

He urged the international community not only to combat terrorism but also to fight crises and wars at the same time, stressing that they are “in solidarity with the Turkish government in the fight against terrorism".

Egypt's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid expressed solidarity with Turkish people and called on the international community to prevent terror groups.

"Egypt strongly condemns the attacks in Istanbul and reiterates its stance against terrorism that threatens international peace and security," he said.

Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Political Bureau Chief Khaled Mashal expressed their condolences to Erdogan during a phone telephone call.

Saudi Arabia also condemned the "unacceptable" attack. According to a statement published by the state-run SPA news Agency, Saudi Arabia said it stood by fellow countries against terror attacks.

Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Iran, Jordan, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Tunisia also condemned the attack, showing solidarity with Turkey.

Hungarian Foreign Ministry spokesman Tamas Menczer linked the attacks with the security of the European Union. "The security of Europe starts with Turkey's stability," he said.

Kosova President Hashim Thaci was optimistic terror would be defeated.

"Kosova stands by Turkey in times of joy and in these disturbing moments. Justice shall prevail," he said.

In a letter of condolence to Erdogan, the chairman of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency, Mladen Ivanic expressed sorrow for the deadly attacks.

"Terrorism and extremism are threats to global security without borders, so it is essential to fight jointly against this threat," Ivanic said.

Describing Turkey as "friend and ally", Romanian Defense Minister Mihnea Motoc "strongly condemned" the terror attacks in Istanbul, "which had no excuse and could not reach its aims."

In his Facebook account, Motoc said Romania "stands by Turkey in its fight against terrorism".

The Greek Foreign Ministry said the country "stands with all its friends and neighbors during their difficult time" as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras expressed his condolences to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim during a telephone call.

Twin explosions rocked the Besiktas district of Istanbul late Saturday when a car bomb was detonated two hours after the end of a Turkish football league match between Besiktas and Bursaspor.

Moments later, a suicide bomb attack rocked Macka Park in the same neighborhood. The suicide bomber blew himself up after police noticed him, according to Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

"A total of 13 suspects have been arrested so far," he said. "Signs point to the involvement of the PKK terrorist group."

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Sunday that the PKK was "most likely" to have been involved in the attack.