Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday expressed his condolences to the people of Iran over the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, stressing that Ankara will stand by Iran “in these difficult and sad times,” according to Anadolu Agency.

In a post on X, Erdogan prayed for Allah’s mercy upon Raisi who died in a helicopter crash.

“I wish Allah’s mercy upon the Iranian foreign minister and other people who lost their lives in the same helicopter as Raisi,” he stated.

He expressed his “deepest condolences” to the Iranian people and government, including the country’s religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and to the families of the deceased.

“As a counterpart, who personally witnessed his efforts for the peace of the Iranian people and our region during his time in office, I remember Mr. Raisi with respect and gratitude,” Erdogan said.

“As Türkiye, we will stand by our neighbor Iran in these difficult and sad times, as we have done many times,” the president added.

After a night-long search operation hampered by bad weather, Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and other top officials have been declared dead.

Dozens of emergency rescue teams had been dispatched to the mountainous area in northwestern Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, where the incident took place on Sunday afternoon.

According to the Iranian Constitution, the first vice president – Mohammad Mokhber – will assume powers of the presidency and elections be held within 50 days.