Global condemnation followed Tuesday’s deadly terror attack on Istanbul’s Sultanahmet tourist district with nations warning citizens to be aware of security threats in Turkey.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius condemned the attack.
"I condemn in the strongest terms this heinous attack and express the full solidarity of France to the Turkish people and authorities of the country hit hard again," Fabius said in a statement.
The French foreign ministry has set up a crisis units in Paris and Istanbul.
“Terrorism has once again struck one of our member States today. I deplore and strongly condemn the bomb attack in Istanbul. My thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the victims”, said Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
“I have expressed my condolences and support to the people of Turkey in a letter to the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament. Turkey can count on our support in combating terrorism and violent extremism. It is the duty of all democratic political forces to stand up against radicalisation and the hatred that fuel violent extremism and 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 told 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 Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus has said the majority were foreigners.
“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 organize help as soon as possible, in cooperation with Turkey,” she said.
Britain 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 are 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 U.S. 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. The November terror attacks in Paris killed 130.
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, EU President Donald Tusk said: “I condemn the brutal terrorist attack in Istanbul today. My thoughts are with the victims.”
The union’s ambassador to Turkey, Hansjorg Haber, tweeted: “While awaiting official information about the cause of this tragedy, our thoughts are with families, friends & all citizens of Turkey.”
In a statement, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also condemned the attack. “I extend my deepest condolences to the families of the victims,” he said. “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.”
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