European leaders reacted with outrage to Wednesday’s terror attack in Ankara that killed at least 28 people and wounded 61 more.
Chancellor Angela Merkel was among the first to strongly condemn the attack and express Germany’s support to Turkey in the fight against terrorism.
“The Federal German government strongly condemns this recent terror attack,” Merkel said in a statement released on Wednesday evening.
“I would like to tell the Turkish people the following: We Germans are sharing your pain. We will stand side-by-side Turkey in fighting those who are responsible for such inhuman acts,” she said.
Merkel expressed her sympathy to the families of those who were killed in the terrorist attack and wished a speedy recovery to the injured survivors.
Philip Hammond, the UK foreign secretary, also condemned the blast.
He wrote on Twitter on Wednesday evening, “My thoughts are with the victims of #Ankara terror attack. The UK utterly condemns this senseless act of violence.”
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary-general, said Turkey had the alliance’s full backing after the atrocity.
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) February 17, 2016
He said in a statement, “I offer my deepest condolences to the families of those killed and to the Turkish people. My thoughts are also with those who have been wounded.''
“There can be no justification for such horrific acts. NATO Allies stand shoulder to shoulder in the fight against terrorism.”
And Federica Mogherini, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, offered solidarity from Europe.
She wrote in a statement, “Another terrible attack hit the center of Ankara tonight. The EU extends condolences to the families of the victims killed in the attack and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured. Our fullest sympathy goes to the Turkish people and authorities.''
“We are with Turkey and its people in these difficult times and stand by all those who suffer from the consequences of such violence, and of terrorism.”
In a statement issued from the Elysee Palace, French President Francois Hollande denounced the "horrific attack" in Ankara, expressing solidarity with the Turkish people.
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni condemned the terror attack at a conference of the Foreign Journalists’ Association in Rome. We are “deeply saddened by this attack”, he said.
Qatar also condemned the attack in a statement issued by its foreign ministry and said it would “support to all measures [Turkey] takes to face such criminal acts which aim to shake its security and stability”.
Azerbaijani president, Ilham Aliyev, sent a message of condolence to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, describing terrorism as an “evil” for humanity.
“This ruthless event once more underlines the necessity of jointly fighting against terrorism,” Aliyev added.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry also condemned the terrorist attack in Ankara and reaffirmed its solidarity with Turkey.
“We have no doubt that Turkey would eliminate the scourge of terrorism with its strong will and unshakable resolve,” a statement read.
Kosovo’s President Atifete Jahjaga said in a tweet she strongly condemned the “heinous terrorist attack in Ankara”.
“Albania strongly condemns the appalling terror attack in Ankara. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati tweeted.
— Ditmir Bushati (@ditmirbushati) February 17, 2016
In messages posted on their Twitter accounts, the British and American ambassadors to Turkey also condemned the attack.
"Terrible news from Kizilay. Condolences to the families of those killed and speedy recovery to the injured," wrote UK envoy Richard Moore.
+ UK stands shoulder to shoulder with Turkey at this difficult time. Utterly condemn terrorism.
— Richard Moore (@UKAmbRichard) February 17, 2016
Moore said the UK "stands shoulder to shoulder with Turkey at this difficult time".
US ambassador John Bass also wrote that he was “deeply saddened and shocked” by the terror attack in Ankara.
In Washington, the US State Department strongly condemned the attack and extended its deepest condolences to the families of the deceased; the US embassy in Ankara is working to determine if any American citizens “were involved”, spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.
Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner: United States Condemns Terrorist Attack in Ankara, Turkey pic.twitter.com/LVoN3VHHUh
— US Embassy Turkey (@USEmbassyTurkey) February 17, 2016