South Africa extends condolences to Turkey

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has sent condolences to the people of Turkey, following a bomb blast in Ankara.

"On behalf of the government and people of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma has extended his heartfelt condolences to the government and people of Turkey, in particular the families of the deceased, following the bomb explosion that took place on 13 March 2015," said the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco).

Sunday's explosion claimed the lives of 37 people.

"South Africa shares in the grief of the Turkish people following the substantial loss of life and wishes the injured survivors a speedy recovery. Terrorism in any form and from whichever quarter cannot be condoned.

"There is no doubt that the loss of life in Turkey during the past six months is aimed at undermining any efforts to resolve conflict by peaceful means. In this regard, the South African government calls upon the Turkish government to persevere in the pursuit of peace and stability," said President Zuma in a statement on Tuesday.

The President said South Africa stands firmly with the international community in condemning all forms of terrorism and stands in solidarity with the government of Turkey as it mourns the death of its citizens.

Sunday's incident is the third major blast in the Turkish capital since last October.

On 10 October 2015, alleged Islamic State (IS) militants bombed a peace rally near Ankara Railway Station near a major city thoroughfare, killing at least 103 people.

On 17 February, a suicide bomber targeted military shuttles in the capital city, killing at least 29 people and injuring 81 others.