Singapore leaders express condolences to Turkey over terror attacks

Police officers patrol at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, on June 29, 2016.
Police officers patrol at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, on June 29, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have written to their Turkish counterparts to convey condolences on the terror attacks at Istanbul's international airport, Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release on Wednesday (June 29).

"I was shocked by the terror attacks at Istanbul Atatürk Airport on 28 June 2016 and was saddened over the loss of many lives," Dr Tan wrote to Turkish President President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"Singapore strongly condemns this act of terror against innocent civilians and stands united with Turkey in its fight against terrorism."

 

The attacks killed at least 36 people, tearing through the terminal at one of the busiest travel times of the year as Turkey struggles to contain the spillover from Syria's civil war.

 

PM Lee said he was "shocked and saddened to learn of the terror attack" in a letter to Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

"Singapore strongly condemns this heinous act and stands in solidarity with Turkey in countering this global menace of terrorism," Mr Lee said. 

"On behalf of the Government of Singapore, I wish to convey my deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wish those injured a full and quick recovery."

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam also conveyed his condolences to the victims and their families. He wrote in a Facebook post: "This has shattered the peaceful Ramadan period, and brought grief to many Muslims and non-Muslims in Turkey and all around the globe. It is against the fundamentals of what Ramadan means."

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has contacted most of the Singaporeans in Istanbul and they are safe. 

He sent his condolences to the bereaved families in Turkey and said in his Facebook post that the attack is a reminder for Singapore to "remain vigilant". 

"Turkey is a close friend of Singapore and we stand in solidarity with the Turkish people and government," he wrote.

Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim, who is also the Minister in charge of Muslim affairs, added his prayers to those for the victims.

He said on Facebook: "Devastating news in the middle of the holy month of Ramadan. Praying for comfort to the families of those killed, and for the safety and recovery of those injured."

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong also urged vigilance, saying that "an attack like this can happen anywhere into the world, including in Singapore".