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Turkey condemns Westminster attack

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan condemned Wednesday’s attack in London

At least five dead after car mows down people on bridge and driver stabs police officer

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was among those sending a message of solidarity and condemnation after at least five people died in an attack outside Britain’s Houses of Parliament.

“I want to emphasize that Turkey deeply feels and shares the United Kingdom’s sorrow,” he said in a message to UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

The message continued: “Turkey always stands in solidarity with the friendly and allied United Kingdom in the fight against terrorism, one of the greatest threats to international peace and security.”

At least five people were killed and forty others injured after the attack, in which a car mowed down tourists and workers on Westminster Bridge before the driver stabbed an unarmed police officer to death outside parliament.

Describing the attacker in a statement on Thursday, Mrs May said: “What I can confirm is that the man was British-born and that some years ago he was once investigated by MI5 in relation to concerns about violent extremism. He was a peripheral figure.

“The case is historic. He was not part of the current intelligence picture. There was no prior intelligence of his intent or of the plot.”

A Spanish-British teacher was also named among the victims of Wednesday afternoon’s attack.

Television pictures from a helicopter showed a car abandoned on the pavement. The driver reportedly ran into the parliamentary complex and stabbed a police officer, who later died.

In a message of his own, Turkish prime minister Binali Yıldırım warned against associating terrorism with Muslim countries.

“Solely associating terrorism with Muslim countries is the gravest mistake. Terrorism is a global catastrophe,” he said.

In a statement, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry also condemned the attack.

“We condemn the terrorist attacks perpetrated in Westminster where the Houses of Parliament are located in London,” it said.

“This heinous attack demonstrated once again brutal and merciless nature of terrorism that targets lives of innocent people.

“Turkey and Turkish people, who have been target of several similar attacks, share the grief of the UK and British people. In this regard, our country will continue to provide all kinds of support to the UK in the fight against terrorism.

“Underlining once again the importance of global cooperation in the fight against terrorism, we reiterate that we will resolutely maintain our solidarity with the international community and our allies against all kinds of terrorism and violence.”