European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana yesterday condemned the "heinous" twin bomb attacks in Istanbul and pledged the bloc's support to Turkey. "I condemn in the strongest possible terms the despicable bombing attack that took many innocent lives and injured dozens of people in Istanbul," he said in a statement.
"In these difficult moments, Turkey can count on the support of the European Union," he added. "I hope that the perpetrators of this heinous terrorist act will be swiftly brought to justice."
Two bombs exploded in a crowded Istanbul street late Sunday, killing at least 17 people and wounding more than 150, hours before a key court hearing yesterday that could result in a ban on Turkey's ruling party.
Meanwhile, the NATO military alliance yesterday also condemned the twin bomb attack in Istanbul and expressed solidarity with ally Turkey.
"I condemn in the strongest terms the bombings that occurred in Istanbul," NATO chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said. "These appalling terrorist attacks targeted innocent civilians in a deliberate and brutal way."
"NATO will continue to stand firmly in solidarity with the Turkish people in the fight against terrorism," he said in a statement.

EU Council issues statement
A statement issued yesterday by the Presidency of the Council of the European Union read, the Presidency condemns in the strongest possible terms the two attacks carried out Sunday evening that caused numerous victims.
The Presidency expresses its full support to the Turkish authorities and conveys its condolences to the victims' families and loved ones.
The Presidency recalls that the European Union is fully engaged, alongside Turkey, in the fight against terrorism. It condemns all forms of terrorism and will stand with the Turkish authorities to combat violence and extremism.

President of PACE condemns the twin bombings in Istanbul
The President of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly, or PACE, Lluís Maria de Puig, yesterday also strongly condemned the double bombing in Istanbul Sunday night.
"No cause in the world can justify such an odious act, carefully premeditated to kill innocent persons," he said. "There is no place in society for terrorists,� de Puig said. �I am convinced that this opinion is shared, not just by the whole of Turkish society, but by all those who subscribe to the community of values represented by the Council of Europe."
In a letter to the speaker of the Turkish Parliament, on behalf of PACE, the president sent his condolences to the victims' families and expressed his solidarity with the injured.
Meanwhile the United States also condemned the attacks in a press statement issued yesterday. "We offer our deepest condolences and sympathy to the family and friends of the victims of th is violent and insidious act. There is no justification for the killing of innocent people. We continue to support our ally, Turkey, in the fight against terrorism," said the statement.