Turkey Rejects US Condolences Over Istanbul Terrorist Attack

Turkey does not accept the condolences the US Embassy offered in connection with the terrorist attack in Istanbul on Sunday, Turkish Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu said on Monday, accusing Syria-based Kurdish YPG, of masterminding the deadly bombing.

The Turkish minister underscored the insincerity of a number of Turkey’s so-called allies, who, according to him, either harbor terrorists on its territories, allow them to exist in the territories they’ve occupied, or officially send them money from their senates.

He promised that those who inflicted pain on the Turkish people will, in the near future, experience many times that pain.

Talking to Russian news agency TASS, Soylu noted that Ankara isn’t hostile towards anyone, but rejects the condolences of the US diplomatic mission, describing it as if the killer was one to offer sympathy first at the scene of its attack considering that the US has supported YPG militias in Syria in the past.

Turkey considers the YPG- which fought against the forces of the terrorist group Islamic State in Syria- part of the Turkish-Kurdish militia group Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that has waged a decades-old guerrilla war against the government in Ankara.

As Washington helped YPG fighters by providing them with weapons, training, and air support as part of the US’s military involvement in Syria, the Turkish government accused Washington of undermining its national security by supporting PKK (though through its Syrian branch) although the US has designated it as a terrorist organization.

Sunday’s terrorist bombing that occurred on the iconic Istiklal Avenue – one of Istanbul’s biggest tourist attractions – killed 6 people while more than 80 were injured.

Turkish officials banned news channels and social networking services from sharing images of the deadly explosion, urging the media and public to rely only on official information about the incident, while the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has opened a terrorism probe.

Turkish law enforcement had so far arrested 46 people in connection with the bombing, including the person accused of organizing the plot and the woman who allegedly dropped the bomb before fleeing the scene.

The woman, which is of Syrian nationality, reportedly admitted she was working for Kurdish militants and to have received an order from the PKK, leading to a preliminary assessment, as Soylu explained, that the order for the action came from the Kurdish-majority city of Kobane which is right across the border in northern Syria.

However, a senior Turkish official said in a separate report that they are not ruling out Islamic State ties.

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