International leaders call for unity after bomb attack kills civilians in Turkish capital
The chorus of condemnation over last night’s deadly bomb attack in central Ankara has grown, with the U.S., the United Nations, Canada and Gulf states – among others – lending their voices to the stand against terrorism.
At least 37 people were killed after a car exploded in Ankara’s central Kizilay neighborhood at 6.45 p.m. local time (1645 GMT) Sunday evening.
Europe condemns Ankara blast
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn condemned the bomb attack in a statement on the bloc’s external action website.
“This afternoon, the center of Ankara was yet again a target of a bomb attack, with dozens of lives lost and many injured. We express our strong solidarity and fullest sympathy with Turkey, its government and its people. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed in this terror attack and wish a speedy recovery to all injured,” it said.
“The European Union will continue to stand by all those who suffer from such violence. We reiterate our firm commitment to further step up international cooperation to fight the global threat of terrorism,” it added.
Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland tweeted his condolence, saying the attack was against values of Europe.
Meanwhile, U.K.’s Minister for Europe, David Lidington, said: “Appalled by today’s atrocity in Ankara. Heartfelt sympathy for victims and their families. U.K. will stand by Turkey in face of terrorism”.
U.K.’s Secretary of State Philip Hammond said: “My thoughts and deep condolences to everyone affected by today’s Ankara & IvoryCoast terror attacks. Both appalling attacks on civilians”.
French President Francois Hollande condemned the attack in a statement issued by Elysee. “The President addresses to the Turkish people a profound message of solidarity after the despicable attack which struck central Ankara tonight causing many casualties.
“France is by Turkey’s side to continue with its fight against terrorism that hits everywhere and must be fought with the utmost powers,” the statement said.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault condemned the “barbaric” attack.
“Turkey has been again hit in the heart of the capital Ankara, by a barbaric terrorist attack that left many victims.
“France condemns in the strongest terms this heinous act reminiscent of how the international community must be united, united and determined to face the terrorist threat,” Ayrault said.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg condemned the terrorist attack in Turkish capital.
“There can be no justification for such heinous acts of violence. All NATO Allies stand in solidarity with Turkey, resolute in our determination to fight terrorism in all its forms,” Stoltenberg said.
Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said: “We received another terrible news from Turkey. I condemn the terror in Turkey fiercely”, the Latvian minister said.
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said: “I share the sorrow of ‘our friend’ Turkish people. I would like you to know that the Georgian people are standing by you in these sad moments”.
The newly-elected president of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, wrote on social media that the bomb attack has hit the friendly Turkish people and state.
Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati said: “Terrorism has again hit Ankara. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims. We support Turkey”.
“I’m appalled by the devastating terror attacks in Ankara and the Ivory Coast. My thoughts are with all those affected,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk condemned the terrorist attack on their Twitter accounts.
Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz tweeted: “My thoughts are with the victims’ families and friends”.
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said in a telegram: “Once again, I want to reiterate the importance of joining efforts and forces in determined fight against terrorism that continuously jeopardizes and undermines values of modern civilization and society”.
Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement: “We unequivocally condemn terrorism, whatever its source, and we express our solidarity with the Turkish people and the citizens of the Turkish capital, as well as the deep condolences of the Greek people and the Greek government to the families of the victims”.
Spain condemned the bomb attack in a statement while Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi sent his condolences to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, denouncing the “terrifying” terror attack.
Separately, Estonia, Sweden and Lithuania immediately sent their condolences to the Turkish nation and the terror attack victims’ families.
Central Asia reaction
Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev in a statement voiced his grief over the death of scores of people in the incident.
“We severely condemn terrorism and we think the fight against terror must be conducted in the harshest way,” Aliyev said.
Aliyev offered condolences to the Turkish people and families of the victims, expressing a wish for the speedy recovery of the wounded.
Putin condemns attack
Russian president also condemned the attack. Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov told TASS Russian news agency: “Vladimir Putin condemned this brutal attack happened in Ankara fiercely. The Russian president mourns with the Turkish people exposed to a new terrorist attack in which a great number of people died”.
The White House released a statement strongly condemning the terror attack:
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to those killed and injured as well as to their loved ones. This horrific act is only the most recent of many terrorist attacks perpetrated against the Turkish people,” the statement said.
“The United States stands together with Turkey, a NATO ally and valued partner, as we confront the scourge of terrorism.”
U.S. ambassador in Ankara John Bass tweeted: “Deeply saddened and horrified by attack in Ankara. We extend our deepest condolences to victims and their families”.
Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “Canada is appalled by this latest, senseless attack in Ankara. Our thoughts are with our friend and ally Turkey.”
The UN said: “The Secretary-General [Ban Ki-moon] sends his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. The United Nations continues to support and stand in solidarity with the people and the government of Turkey at this trying time.”
South Asian leaders condemn blast
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also strongly condemned the attack.
“The prime minister extends his heartfelt condolences to the people and government of Turkey and prayed for eternal peace for the departed souls as well as swift recovery of those who have been injured,” Sharif said in a statement.
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry also expressed “shock and concern” at the latest attack and offered its condolences to the victims’ families and the Turkish people.
“Our government … strongly condemns this terrorist act,” it said in a statement.
“Our government, under the firm and consistent view that terrorism cannot be justified for any reason, supports the Turkish government’s efforts to eradicate terrorism and will continue to join the international community’s efforts to fight terrorism.”
In a social media post, Philippine ambassador to Turkey, Maria Rowena M. Sanchez, wrote: “May the perpetrators receive swift justice for their contemptible acts. May peace reign in this beautiful country.”
Middle East leaders condemn
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also condemned the Ankara attack. “Israel expresses solidarity with the Turkish people in the war against terrorism and calls on the international community to unite in the fight against terrorism”.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman condemned the bombing and extended his condolences to the Turkish people and Erdogan, reported state-run Saudi news agency SPA.
“Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, the Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense, has sent a cable of condolences to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Republic of Turkey on the victims of the terrorist attack that took place in Ankara.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari condemned the Ankara terrorist attack. Ansari sent his condolences to the Turkish government and people on the “fatal terrorist attack and voiced sympathy with the families of victims”.
“The unbroken chain of terrorist operations in various parts of the world and the region gives momentum to the need for an orchestrated and unified move to confront terrorism and extremism which pose common threats to the international community,” he said.
Qatar’s Foreign Ministry and Mohammad al-Momani, Minister of State for Media Affairs of Jordan, also condemned the terrorist attack in Ankara.
Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, sent his condolences to President Erdogan over the powerful bomb blast in Ankara. According to the Kuwait official news agency KUNA, the emir “strongly” condemned the terrorist attack ( Anadolu Agency).