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May 14, 2014 10:37 am

Israel Embassy in Ankara Cancels Independence Day Celebration in Solidarity With Turkish Miners

avatar by Joshua Levitt

The port of Istanbul, Turkey. Photo: WikiCommons.

The port of Istanbul, Turkey. Photo: WikiCommons.

The Embassy of the State of Israel in Ankara, Turkey, said on Wednesday that it has cancelled a celebration to be held in honor of Israel’s Independence Day in solidarity with the families of those lost in an explosion that killed some 200 Turkish miners.

“Due to the grave accident in the coal mine in Soma, Manisa, the reception on the occasion of the 66th Independence Day of the State of Israel planned to be held tonight (14 May 2014) has been cancelled,” Nizar Amer, Spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in Turkey said, in a statement posted to Facebook.

“The State and people of Israel share the grief of the Turkish people, pay condolences to the families of the deceased, wish speedy recovery for the wounded and hope for positive news from the ones still in the mine,” Amer said.

On Wednesday, Turkey declared three days of national mourning in honor of those who died in the explosion, one of Turkey’s worst industrial disasters, the prime minister’s office said, according to AFP.

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Israel President Shimon Peres also sent a letter of condolence to Turkish President Abdullah Gul.

Peres wrote, “I wish to extend my deepest condolences, and those of the people of Israel, to your country on the tragic accident in Manisa. We are all shocked at the loss of life of innocent people at work and our thoughts are with the people of Turkey.”

“At times of tragedy we must all do what we can to help one another and we have offered Turkey whatever assistance you require at this time,” Peres said. “From the Holy Land the people of Israel pray for the victims, their families, for the rescue of those still trapped and the full recovery of the injured.”

“Please accept my heartfelt sympathy and those of the people of Israel,” Peres wrote.

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