Greek Prime Minister sends message of support after deadly explosion in Istanbul

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Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has sent a message of support to Turkey after a deadly explosion rocked a busy pedestrian street in central Istanbul on Sunday.

Six people have been killed and 81 others wounded after the explosion struck the packed Istiklal Avenue on Sunday afternoon.

Mitsotakis said on Twitter he was “shocked and saddened by the news of the heinous attack.”

“I wish a speedy recovery to the wounded and offer my sincere condolences to the families of the victims, to President Erdogan and to the Turkish people. Greece unequivocally condemns all forms of terrorism,” the Greek Prime Minister said.

After news of the explosion emerged, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it was a “heinous” bomb attack that “smells like terrorism.”

“Efforts to defeat Turkey and the Turkish people through terrorism will fail today just as they did yesterday and as they will fail again tomorrow,” Erdogan told a news conference.

“Our people can rest assured that the culprits behind the attack will be punished as they deserve.”

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the blast but Istanbul and other Turkish cities have been targeted in the past by Kurdish separatists, Islamist militants and other groups, including in a series of attacks in 2015 and 2016.

State-owned Anadolu agency said the cause of the blast was not yet known and that five prosecutors had been assigned to investigate the explosion.

Greece’s Foreign Ministry also confirmed on Sunday they are in constant contact with the local authorities and there are no Greeks among the victims.

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