EU condemns Istanbul nightclub attack

Brussels, Jan 1 (IANS) The European Union (EU) on Sunday strongly condemned a terrorist attack in Istanbul that left at least 39 people dead.

“In my personal name and that of the whole European Commission, I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to you and my solidarity with the victims and their loved ones,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a message to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Xinhua news agency reported.

“It is our common responsibility to repel terrorism. Let me assure you and through you the people of Turkey that you can count on our continued support in this endeavour,” he added.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, along with Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, also extended condolences to Turkey and denounced the attack.

“We strongly condemn all acts of terrorism and confirm our continued commitment to working with the authorities of Turkey in preventing and combating these threats effectively,” they said in a joint statement.

A lone gunman sprayed bullets at the people celebrating new year at Istanbul’s famous Reina nightclub late Saturday after killing a police officer.

At least 39 people were confirmed dead, including both Turkish and foreign nationals.