Georgian leaders saddened by Istanbul blast, condemn terrorism

Turkish police cordon off the Blue Mosque area in Istanbul's tourist hub of Sultanahmet after a blast left 10 people dead. Photo by O. Kose, 12 Jan 2016 - 18:19, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is saddened over today’s terrorist attack in the heart of Turkey's biggest city Istanbul, which reportedly killed 10 and left more than 15 injured.

President Giorgi Margvelashvili and Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili issued separate statements, where each condemned terrorism and expressed their sorrow.

"I strongly condemn today`s terrorist attack on Sultanahmet Square in the heart of Istanbul’s tourist district that has killed innocent people and left many injured. Along with International community, with intensive cooperation, Georgia continues its efforts in fighting the greatest threat of the contemporary world,” the President said.
"Georgian people stand with the friendly Turkish nation in solidarity. My thoughts are with the victims and their families,” he added.

Prime Minister Kvirikashvili extended his condolences to the families of those killed and injured in the attack. He wished for a quick recover for those injured.

"Terrorism is the greatest threat to the international community and peaceful development of our countries. It also is a brutal crime,” Kvirikashvili said.

Meanwhile Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated no Georgian victims were reported after the deadly blast in Istanbul.

The agency said that Georgians could obtain information in connection of the fatal fact through phoning the Georgia’s General Consulate in Istanbul: + 90 54 18 18 44 00.

According to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "a suicide bomber with links to Syria carried out the attack in the Sultanahmet district.”

The explosion took place near the Istanbul city’s iconic Blue Mosque.

Condemning the attack, President Erdogan said Turkey was the "top target for all terrorist groups in the region" and his country was "fighting against all of them equally", BBC reported.