Turkiye on Monday rejected US condolences over the death of six people in a bomb attack in Istanbul that Ankara blamed on an outlawed Kurdish militant group.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan often accuses Washington of supplying weapons to Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, deemed as “terrorists” by Ankara. “We do not accept the US embassy’s message of condolences. We reject it,” Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said in televised comments.
Meanwhile, a Turkish official declined comment on reports of US-Russian talks in Turkiye on Monday, but said Ankara was working with some countries against terrorism, including a Sunday’s blast in Istanbul.
Ankara blamed Sunday’s attack on Kurdish militants, against which it has carried out several operations in northern Syria. In the past, it notified Moscow and Washington ahead of its operations.
The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party has denied any role in the deadly weekend attack.
“Our people and the democratic public know closely that we are not related to this incident, that we will not directly target civilians and that we do not accept actions targeting civilians,” the group said in a statement published by the Firat news agency. Firat is close to the PKK, which is listed as a terror group by Turkiye and its Western allies. Police said the suspect told them during her interrogation that she had been trained as a “special intelligence officer” by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers.—AFP/Reuters/AP