World Bulletin / News Desk
Leaders from around the world condemned a terror attack at an Istanbul nightclub early Sunday that killed at least 39 people and injured 69 others.
Governor Vasip Sahin described the attack in Ortakoy, Besiktas, as “cruel” and an “act of terror”.
“At 1.15 a.m., a terrorist carrying a long-barreled weapon martyred the police officer waiting outside, and then martyred another citizen to enter” the club, he said.
“He then carried out this violent and cruel act by spraying bullets on innocent people who were celebrating the new year," Sahin said.
An investigation is underway and the governor’s office would provide further updates, he added.
White House spokesman Eric Schulz said President Barack Obama “expressed condolences for the innocent lives lost, directed his team to offer inappropriate assistance to the Turkish authorities, as necessary and keep him updated as warranted.”
Obama "reaffirmed the support of the U.S. for Turkey, our NATO ally, in our shared determination to confront and defeat all forms of terrorism," National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson Ned Price said.
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Washington “strongly condemns the terrorist attack”.
"Sadly, this heinous attack is only the latest effort to kill and maim innocent civilians. These attacks only reinforce our strong determination to work with the Government of Turkey to counter the scourge of terrorism," Toner said.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg posted a Twitter message, lamenting a “tragic start to 2017 in Istanbul”.
"My thoughts are with those affected by the attack on people celebrating New Year and with the Turkish people," Stoltenberg said.
President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz stated on Twitter: "It was supposed to be a night of celebration: terrorists turned it into one of violence, death, despair. My thoughts with Istanbul, Turkey."
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini tweeted: "Our thoughts are with victims and their loved ones. We continue to work to prevent these tragedies.”
British Ambassador to Turkey, Richard Moore tweeted: "Saddened and shocked to see more pain and heartache visited on Turkey as we enter the New Year.
"I condemn utterly this murderous attack. My heartfelt condolences to families of deceased and wishes for a speedy recovery to those injured," Moore said.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault voiced solidarity with Turkey in a post on the micro-blogging website. "With all heart we are with Turkey which was terribly struck in this symbolic night."
Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs on Twitter said: "Canada offers its condolences to families of victims and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured in tonight's horrendous attack in Istanbul."
Foreign Minister of Austria, Sebastian Kurz said: "Terrible beginning of the New Year in Istanbul. My sincere condolences to the friends and families of the victims."
Belgium's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, Didier Reynders stated: "The year began in horror in Istanbul. Our thoughts are with the victims, their relatives and the people of Turkey."
German Federal Foreign Office said on Twitter: "Reina attack: We are deeply shocked and mourn with the people of Istanbul, Turkey."
National Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Nihad Awad, said on Twitter: "Our hearts with the families and loved ones of the civilians killed and injured by terrorists in Istanbul."
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, wrote in Turkish: “We share your pain and sadness, dear Turkey. Istanbul our hearts are with you.”
The attack comes three weeks after twin bombings in Istanbul killed at least 45 people, most of whom were police officers.Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Ocak 2017, 10:16