The White House Reacts to the Istanbul Attacks

June 28th 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

The White House said Tuesday's "heinous" attacks on Istanbul's airport is a reminder that we are all connected. 

President Barack Obama's Press Secretary Josh Earnest released a statement on the White House Twitter account.

"Ataturk International Airport in Turkey, like Brussels Airport which was attacked earlier this year, is a symbol of international connections and ties that bind us together," he wrote. 


In March, terrorists linked to the Islamic State killed more than 30 people at the Brussels Airport and a nearby subway station in Belgium with two bombs. 

Tuesday's attack in the Istanbul airport is the latest in a long string of attacks in Turkey. In March, a suicide bombing attributed to the Islamic State killed four people on an Istanbul street. Earlier this month, a car bombing in Istanbul by Kurdish militant group TAK killed 11 people, according to BBC News. 

This latest Istanbul attack comes two weeks after 49 people were killed at a gay nightclub in a mass shooting in Orlando.

The attack has been described as part hate crime against the LGBT community and part religious extremism. The FBI said that the shooter, Omar Mateen, was a supporter of the Islamic State, according to The Washington Post.

"President Barack Obama walks away from the lectern with Vice President Joe Biden after making a statement about the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., June 16, 2016."

In the wake of Orlando, Obama talked about the need for the U.S. to be vigilant against terrorism

"Here in Orlando, we are reminded not only of our obligations as a country to be resolute against terrorists, we are reminded not only of the need for us to implement smarter policies to prevent mass shootings, we're also reminded of what unites us as Americans, and that what unites us is far stronger than the hate and the terror of those who target us." - President Barack Obama (June 16, 2016)

Obama met with Turkey's president to talk about terrorism after the Paris attacks last year.


Two days after last year's Paris attacks that killed 130 people, Obama met with Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan in Antalya at the G20 summit. They discussed the threat of global terrorism and Erdogan talked about the collective effort to keep people around the world safe. 

Istanbul terminal 2007.

"We are confronted with a collective terrorism activity around the world. As you know, terrorism does not recognize any religion, any race, any nation, or any country.  And what we have seen taking place in France, in Paris, as well as in Ankara, and in Antep, and in Suruc, and in Diyarbakir, all show to us that we are confronted with a collective effort that has been engaged in terrorism.  And this terrorist action is not only against the people of France.  It is an action against all of the people of the globe." - President Tayyip Erdogan (November 15, 2015)

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