Türkiye does not accept US condolence over Istanbul terrorist attack: Interior Minister Soylu
Explosion on Istiklal Avenue left 6 people dead, 81 injured; female suspect arrested
By Anadolu Agency
ANKARA (AA) - Türkiye does not accept the condolence by the US over Sunday's deadly terror attack in Istanbul, the country’s interior minister said on Monday.
“I emphasize once again that we do not accept, and reject the condolences of the US Embassy,” Suleyman Soylu told reporters on Istiklal Avenue, where the terror attack took place.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre issued a statement on Sunday, saying: “The United States strongly condemns the act of violence that took place today in Istanbul, Türkiye.” The post on Twitter was retweeted by the US Embassy in Türkiye with a comment in Turkish.
The explosion in the Beyoglu district, which the Turkish government has confirmed was carried out by the PKK/YPG terrorist organization, killed six people and injured 81 others.
Soylu said an alliance with a state which supports elements and regions that disturb Türkiye’s peace is problematic.
“Whoever is feeding the PYD there, trying to provide internal intelligence to the PKK, is the perpetrator,” he added.
Stressing that terrorists involved in the attack were nabbed after a successful operation, the minister said they would have fled to Greece had they not been caught. The person who plotted the attack has also been held, he added.
Soylu said that according to a phone conversation monitored by the authorities, the terror organization had passed instructions to kill the attacker after the blast.
"It is obvious that they devised a plan to kill the terrorist and prevent us from deciphering the entire network and the underlying causes of the incident,” he added.
Ahlam Albashir, a Syrian woman who planted the explosives in the crowded commercial hub, has been arrested along with dozens of other suspects.
Albashir has confessed she was trained by the YPG/PKK terror group as an intelligence operative and entered Türkiye illegally from Syria’s Afrin, according to Turkish officials.
Officials said she took orders from the terror group’s headquarters in Kobani, Syria.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the terror group’s Syrian offshoot.
Earlier, Turkish Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said "terror attacks against our civilians are direct and indirect consequences of some countries’ support for terror groups."