Bulent Arinc, the deputy prime minister of Turkey, said investigators had established links between an intelligence agency of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the deadly car bombs.
The explosions which were set off near the municipality occurred on Saturday in a crowded area of the small town of Reyhanli in the southern Turkish province of Hatay, just a few kilometres from the main border crossing into Syria.
The blasts were likely caused by two cars filled with explosives, Interior Minister Muammer Guler told reporters after the attacks, but other reports indicated that there were three or more explosions.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the blasts are not a coincidence warning against provocations amid changes in neighboring Syria, Hurriyet daily reported.
“Such provocation can [come to mind] in such a critical transition phase regarding Syria. It is not a coincidence that this happened when diplomatic traffic is intensifying. We invite our citizens to be prudent. The incident will be investigated,” Davutoglu told reporters during his Germany visit.
UN leader Ban Ki-moon and John Kerry, the US secretary of state, both strongly condemned the bombings.
“This awful news strikes an especially personal note for all of us given how closely we work in partnership with Turkey, and how many times Turkey’s been a vital interlocutor at the center of my work as Secretary of State these last three months. Our thoughts are with the wounded and we extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims,” Kerry said.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also condemned the attack and expressed the hope that the perpetrators of the attack will be swiftly identified and brought to justice.
“The Secretary-General condemns all acts of terrorism and reiterates that no cause or grievance ever justifies the targeting of civilians,” the statement said, adding that Mr. Ban sends his deepest condolences to the victims and their families, as well as to the Turkish Government and people, and wishes those injured a speedy recovery,” a statement by his office said.