"At this time my thoughts are with the families of the victims and the injured," said Chancellor Angela Merkel during the visit of Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal. "We will, of course, do all we can to organise as swift assistance as possible in conjunction with Turkey," she said.
The German government currently has to assume that some of those injured in the attack were German nationals who were part of a group visiting Istanbul, said Angela Merkel. She said she was attempting to obtain as much information about the attack as swiftly as possible. Within the next few hours, she continued, she would be speaking by phone with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to discuss the situation.
Taking a firm line against terrorism
Angela Merkel condemned the attack, which she described as "savage" and "inhuman". "We must note that today it hit Istanbul. It has hit Paris, it has hit Tunisia, it has already hit Ankara. In other words, international terrorism is today once again showing its savage and inhuman face.
Alongside our sorrow and grief, said the Chancellor, this attack demonstrates how essential it is to take firm and resolute action against terrorism. "This imperative will guide our actions, including all the investigations we must now conduct," said Angela Merkel.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier says attack aimed to hit the heart of Istanbul
Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier declared, "We condemn this barbaric, cowardly act of terrorism in the strongest possible terms. It was aimed at the heart of the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul, which we all value as a cosmopolitan and outward-looking city. At this difficult time we stand side by side with Turkey. We mourn the victims of this murderous attack. Our thoughts are with their families and with all those whose loved ones are still unaccounted for."
Crisis unit at Federal Foreign Office
The government’s crisis unit at the Federal Foreign Office convened immediately, reported Frank-Walter Steinmeier. He is working with the German Consulate-General in Istanbul and the German Embassy in Ankara to obtain reliable information about the attack and to establish the fate of those affected. "We are liaising closely with the Turkish authorities to this end," said the Federal Foreign Minister.