World condemns deadly terror attack on Turkish wedding
Leaders from around the world condemned the terrorist attack on a wedding ceremony in southeastern Turkey’s Gaziantep province late Saturday that left 51 people dead.
Russian President Vladimir Putin offered condolences to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and underlined the importance of international cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
"This attack, which targeted a wedding ceremony, shows once again that terrorism does not recognize the rules of civilized society or even the most basic moral values,” Putin said.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed "his deepest sympathy and condolences" to the families, urging for the perpetrators to be brought to justice and international counter-terrorism efforts to be intensified.
U.S. Ambassador in Ankara John Bass condemned the "barbaric attack” in a Twitter post as well, saying: "We stand by our ally Turkey and pledge to continue to work closely together to defeat the common threat of terrorism."
Later Sunday, the White House condemned the attack in the strongest possible terms, and expressed condolences to the victims' families and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.
"We stand with the people of Turkey as they defend their democracy in the face of all forms of terrorism," White House's National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a written statement.
Price added the U.S. was in close touch with Turkish authorities, and reiterated that Vice President Joe Biden would visit Ankara on August 24 to reaffirm the U.S.’ commitment to working together with its "valued NATO ally and partner" in the fight against terrorism.
Describing it as "heinous", the State Department also strongly condemned the attack, and extended "heartfelt" condolences to the friends and families of the victims.
Also, referring to other recent attacks in Turkey’s east and southeast, British Ambassador to Turkey Richard Moore tweeted: "Wholly condemn last night's attack in #Gaziantep and senseless PKK attacks this week. U.K. stands with Turkey against terrorism."
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also issued a statement, strongly condemning "the string of horrific terrorist attacks” in Turkey.
"We stand united in solidarity with our Turkish allies in this difficult time. We remain determined to fight terrorism in all its forms,” Stoltenberg said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany stands by Turkey in the fight against terrorism.
"Our deepest sympathies are with those who lost their loved ones, and victims,” Merkel said in an official letter to Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.
French President Francois Hollande said in a statement he "strongly condemns the despicable terrorist attack in which at least 50 people were killed last night and 100 injured in Gaziantep, Turkey during a wedding.
"France extends to the authorities and people of Turkey its condolences and sympathy ... It stands with all who fight against the scourge of terrorism.”
Turkey’s neighbor Greece denounced the attack via Twitter. "We condemn the brutal attack on the Gaziantep wedding and stand with the Turkish people, united versus terror. Our condolences to the families of the victims,” Greek Foreign Ministry tweeted.
In a statement, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Mustafa Akinci condemned the attack and expressed his country's support and solidarity.
"Terrorist violence has manifested itself this time in the atmosphere of a wedding in Gaziantep. I condemn this terrorist attack.”
In an official statement, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and European Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn extended their "deepest” condolences to the families and friends of those killed, and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.
"As [the] European Union, we express our solidarity and sympathy with the government and people of Gaziantep and of all Turkey. And we will continue to strengthen our cooperation with the Turkish authorities to prevent and counter terrorism,” the statement said.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency Sunday, Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom "vehemently condemned” the attack.
"We have all kinds of cooperation for the common fight against terrorism with Turkey,” she added.
Pakistan also strongly condemned the terrorist attack and reaffirmed its solidarity with the Turkish government and its people.
"The government and people of Pakistan are deeply anguished and saddened by the news of the latest terrorist attack in Turkey, targeting a wedding ceremony in the southeastern province of Gaziantep," the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement Sunday.
Pope Francis offered prayers for the victims, according to the official Vatican Radio.
"Let us pray for the victims and the injured, and for the gift of peace for all,” the pope said Sunday from St. Peter’s Square.
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev also sent a letter of condolences to Erdogan and expressed his sorrow at the attack.
"We are extremely outraged by this horrible tragedy and other terror acts treacherously committed in your country, and consider it important and necessary to carry out a joint, consistent, and resolute struggle against terrorism and all its manifestations,” he said.
Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government, also condemned the deadly terror attack with a statement.
"We strongly condemn the barbarous terror attack [AND] offer condolences to the victims' families and wish a speedy recovery to those injured," the statement from Barzani's office said.
"It became obvious one more time that terror and radical ideas are threatening citizens' safety and daily lives," the statement added.
Georgia, Kazakhstan, Iran, Israel, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia all have condemned the terror attack as well with statements from officials.
Italy's President Sergio Mattarella sent a letter of condolence to President Erdogan about the incident.
Mattarella said in the letter: "The blind and devious murderous fury of terrorism has transformed an occasion of joy and happiness into a tragedy, whose brutality and absurdity hurts and offends all humanity."
"At this time of great suffering for your country, [we] want to convey to the families of the couple and of all the victims feelings of solidarity and deep sympathy of the Italian people and my staff, together with the most sincere wishes for a speedy recovery to all the injured," he said.
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni tweeted: "Gaziantep massacre of a wedding party. Terrorism is losing ground and increases ferocity. Italy close to once-again-hit Turkey."
Earlier, Erdogan condemned the attack in a statement Sunday. "Those who cannot overcome Turkey and try to provoke people by exploiting ethnic and sectarian sensitivities will not prevail,” he said.
"I want to underline one more time, for our country and nation, that there is no difference between FETO, the perpetrator of the July 15 armed coup attempt and the 240 citizens we lost that night, the PKK, the killer of 70 of our security forces – soldiers, police, and village guards – in just the last month, and Daesh, the possible perpetrator of the Gaziantep attack," the president added.
Last Modified: 2016-08-22 08:27:39
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