The UNWTO said it is deeply shocked by the tragic attack perpetrated in Istanbul, Turkey, on Saturday.
According to reports, a suicide attacker detonated a bomb on Istiklal Street, a major shopping and tourist district in Istanbul. The blast killed at least five people and wounded dozens of others, including 12 foreigners.
There have not been any immediate claims of responsibility.
“On behalf of the entire international tourism community, UNWTO conveys its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims and expresses its full solidarity with the people and the Government of Turkey” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
“This tragic event reminds us once more that we are facing a global threat that requires a firm and coordinated response by all governments and the international community. Turkey is a leading tourism destination and we are confident it will continue to be so; it is time to stand by Turkey in facing this challenge”, Mr Rifai added.
A suicide car bombing in the capital Ankara killed 37 people this month and another bombing in Ankara last month killed 29 people. Responsibility for both of those bombings was claimed by a Kurdish militant group.
Foreign Ministry: Greece unequivocally condemns terrorism
“All of the Greek people and the Greek government express their abhorrence at the new terrorist attack that took place today in Istanbul and resulted in the death and injury of innocent citizens”, an announcement by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
“Greece unequivocally condemns terrorism, whatever its source.
“We express our solidarity with the Turkish people and the deep condolences of the Greek people and the Greek government to the victims’ families.”