Turkey’s interior minister on Monday rejected condolences from the US on a deadly bombing in Istanbul and suggested that Washington was complicit in the attack due to its support for Kurdish militant groups in northeast Syria.
The bombing in Istanbul killed six people and wounded 81 others, and Turkey has accused a Syrian affiliate of the Kurdish group PKK of being behind the blast. Turkish authorities arrested a female suspect who they said was sent from Syria to carry out the attack. For their part, the PKK denies responsibility and said it wouldn’t target civilians.
The PKK is active in Turkey and is considered a terrorist organization by both Washington and Ankara. But across the border in Syria, the US backs Kurdish militants with ties to the PKK. The PYD is considered Syria’s PKK affiliate and is associated with the YPG, a militia that is the primary component of the SDF, which the US openly backs.
The White House and US Embassy in Turkey on Sunday extended condolences for the Istanbul bombing. But because of the US’s support for the Kurdish groups in Syria, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu rejected the US’s comments.
“I emphasize once again that we do not accept, and reject the condolences of the US Embassy,” he said, according to the Turkish news agency Anadolu Agency. Soylu said that the US condolences were as if “the killer is among the first ones returning to the scene.”
“Whoever is feeding the PYD there, trying to provide internal intelligence to the PKK, is the perpetrator,” Soylu added.