Turkey received an outpouring of solidarity messages from across the world on Sunday after a suicide bomber who blew himself up at an outdoor wedding ceremony killed 51 people and wounded dozens of others in the southeastern province of Gaziantep on Saturday.
Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, who wrote from his Twitter account on Sunday, said: “Devastated by terrorist attack on wedding party in Gaziantep. We stand by Turkey; my thoughts go to the victims and their loved ones.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a statement on Sunday that preliminary investigations show the attack had been perpetrated by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), adding that it killed a total of 51 people, wounded 69 others 17 of whom are in critical condition.
In a statement released on Sunday by High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn, the EU officials said they extend their deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed and wish a speedy recovery to all injured.
“Turkey has been dramatically targeted once again, and in a city – Gaziantep – that is a symbol of the pain caused to thousands of people from the conflict in Syria. The suffering of all the people hit by war, and terror, is our suffering. As 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,” their statement said.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also condemned the attack in Gaziantep in a statement on Sunday, adding that NATO stands united with its ally “in this difficult time.”
“I strongly condemn the string of horrific terrorist attacks in Turkey in the last few days. My deepest sympathies are with those who lost their loved ones, with those injured and with the people of Turkey,” Stoltenberg said.
Germany, France and Russia as well as many other countries and international organizations also condemned the deadly attack in Gaziantep while offering their condolences to Turkey in separate statements on Sunday.