Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin on the terrorist attack in Istanbul today (12 January):
I regret to confirm the tragic news that reached us from Istanbul today. I have just spoken on the telephone with my Turkish counterpart. He told me that according to the Turkish authorities’ latest information, eight German nationals were among those killed in this murderous terrorist attack. Furthermore, nine Germans have been injured, some of them seriously. However, not all of the details have been verified by our consular and police officers on the ground.
This is a difficult time for all of us – a time of grief, rage and shock. We share the grief of the families and friends of the victims, and wish them fortitude at this terrible time. Our thoughts are with those injured, and we hope that they will be reunited with their loved ones very soon.
It has been many years since terrorism hit us Germans as hard as it did today in Istanbul. But we always knew that the cancer of terrorism does not spare anyone. It threatens all of us equally – in Turkey, Europe and elsewhere.
We must not, and we will not, allow ourselves to be intimidated by murder and violence. On the contrary, we will continue working with our partners around the world to tackle terrorism on all levels. We do this by means of the police and the rule of law, and in the struggle for the minds of young people. And we also do this by means of foreign policy when we repeatedly endeavour to counteract further escalations in our neighbourhood that foment new hatred and terrorism.
The perpetrators and background must be identified without delay. The German Government’s crisis unit convened immediately today at the Federal Foreign Office and is working flat out with our missions abroad and the Turkish authorities to establish the fate of those affected and to provide support to those injured and the families of the victims.
I ask all Germans in Turkey, particularly those in Istanbul, to follow the Federal Foreign Office travel and safety advice closely.