World leaders have expressed solidarity with Turkey following a deadly attack on Saturday, (10 October) on a peace rally in the capital Ankara, which killed nearly one hundred people and injured many others.
The Turkish Anadolou News Agency, quoting the office of Prime Minister Ahmit Davitoglu said that at least 95 people have been killed and 246 others wounded in Saturday's twin bombings. The government declared three days of national mourning.
Security officials based in the capital -- and who did not wish to be identified -- have told Anadolu Agency that the attack was carried out by two suicide bombers using TNT explosives, with metal balls added to make projectiles.
Police say they have found body parts belonging to the two apparent bombers and are working on identifying them. The authorities are also checking security camera footage from the area.
The Ankara officials also said the method of the attack and the amount of explosives used resemble the deadly Suruc bombing from July 20 this year. Dozens of people were killed in the southern Turkish town when a bomb blast struck a gathering of pro-Kurdish activists.
The number of dead makes the attack the deadliest in recent Turkish history.
The attack outside Ankara’s main train station targeted those gathering to attend a lunchtime demonstration to call for an end to the renewed conflict in Turkey's south east region.
Approximately 14,000 people are understood to have been in the area at the time of the explosions.
World leaders express solidarity
World leaders have expressed solidarity with the Turkish nation. Late on Saturday, US President Barack Obama spoke to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and "conveyed his deepest personal sympathies for those killed and injured in these heinous attacks," the White House said. Messages of solidarity were also sent by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.
In a joint statement, Federica Mogherini, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said,
"A new tragedy has shocked Turkey today. People planning to participate in a peaceful march around Ankara railway station were targeted by a bomb attack: there are many dead and injured. We extend our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to those injured. Our sympathy goes to the Turkish people and authorities.
Turkish people and all political forces must stand united against terrorists and against all those who try to destabilise a country that is facing many threats. As the EU, we are determined to defeat those who want to disrupt and destabilise societies. We stand by all people in Turkey who work together to counter violence and terrorism. Our partnership and engagement with the Turkish authorities and Turkish society is stronger than ever, at all levels."
Messages of condolences have also been sent by leaders of the neighbouring countries of the South Caucasus. President Ilham Aliev of Azerbaijan on Saturday spoke on the phone with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
AZERTAC, the state news agency quoted Aliev as saying that he was deeply shocked by the news of heavy loss of life and and extended deepest condolences to families and loved ones of those who died as well as the people of Turkey. President Ilham Aliyev once again stressed that the people of Azerbaijan stand next to the people of Turkey in these hard times.
The President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan was among those who sent condolences to the President of Turkey Recept Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday. President Sargsyan "condemned any manifestation of terrorism and wished fortitude and valor the victims’ relatives, and a speedy recovery to the injured", Armenian media reports from Yerevan.
Messages were also sent by the Georgian leaders. Georgian President, Giorgi Margvelashvili, in his message said, “At this difficult time, on behalf of the Georgian people I express condolences to the families of the victims, and also express firm support towards the people and government of Turkey”. In a separate statement Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili also said he was “appalled by the terrorist act in the Turkish capital.” “The entire world should stand united in the fight against terrorism,” Garibashvili said in his statement.
source: commonspace.eu with Anadolou News Agency (Turkey) and other media outlets.
photo: Turkish flags at half mast (archive picture).