Global condemnation followed Tuesday’s deadly terror attack in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet tourist district with nations expressing solidarity against international terrorism.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on the international community to be resolute in fight against terrorism.
“International terrorism has once again showed itself, with its horrible and inhuman face,” she pointed out at a news conference in Berlin.
Initial reports said German tourists were among the victims, Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier said, and the foreign ministry, which has formed a crisis committee to handle the incident, warned its citizens to avoid crowds and tourist sites.
Few details about the victims of the blast in Sultanahmet Square near the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque have emerged, but Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said all of the victims were foreign tourists most of whom seem to be German.
“This attack also shows us the necessity to confront terrorism in a resolute way,” Merkel said, adding that the government was in close contact with Turkey.
“My thoughts are with the families of the victims, with those injured and we will do everything to organise help as soon as possible, in cooperation with Turkey,” she said.
Britain also advised its citizens in Istanbul to follow the directions of police and local officials.
“Following this morning’s explosion in the Sultanahmet area of Istanbul we got in touch with the Turkish authorities urgently seeking further information,” a spokesman for the Foreign Office in London said.
“Our sympathies are with the victims and anyone affected by this attack.”
John Bass, the US ambassador to Turkey, tweeted, “Closely following reports of an explosion in Sultanahmet. Our thoughts are with those affected.”
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said countries attacked by terrorism should stand together.
Paris terror attacks previously killed 130 civilians in November 2015.
Speaking after a party meeting at the National Assembly, he added, “France, Turkey, all countries that are attacked by terrorism need solidarity and [to] implement all necessary means to fight against the terrorist threat.”
He said he had no information on the presence of French nationals among the victims.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted, “On behalf of the Parisians, my full support to the families and relatives of victims of the attack that occurred in Istanbul.”
In a Twitter message, European Council President Donald Tusk said, “I condemn the brutal terrorist attack in Istanbul today. My thoughts are with the victims.”
EU’s ambassador to Turkey Hansjorg Haber tweeted, “While awaiting official information about the cause of this tragedy, our thoughts are with families, friends and all citizens of Turkey.”
In a statement, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also condemned the attack saying that, “I extend my deepest condolences to the families of the victims.”
“My thoughts are with those injured, with the Turkish people and with all the other nations affected. There can be no justification for such attacks. All NATO allies stand united in the fight against all forms of terrorism,” he added.
Moreover, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Azerbaijani President İlham Aliyev, Kosovo Parliament Speaker Kadri Veseli, Ethiopian government, Pakistani and Qatari foreign ministries have firmly condemned the suicide attack.