Turkey rejects US condolences over Istanbul attack

TEHRAN, Nov. 14 (MNA) – Turkey on Monday rejected US condolences over the death of six people in a bomb attack in Istanbul.

Turkey does not accept the message of condolence from the US on Sunday's deadly terror attack in Istanbul, the country’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Monday.

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,” Soylu said in televised comments.

Soylu, a fierce critic of Washington, likened the US condolences to "the murderer arriving as one of the first at the scene of the crime."

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, Turkey.”

Addressing reporters at the blast site, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the suspect would have fled to Greece had she not been caught. The person who plotted the attack has also been held, he added.

Turkey's government blamed Kurdish militants on Monday for a blast that killed six people in Istanbul's main shopping street and said police had detained 22 suspects, including the person suspected to have planted the bomb.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara says is a wing of the PKK, were responsible for the attack on the historic and bustling Istiklal Avenue on Sunday.

Soylu said the order was given in Kobani and the bomber passed through Afrin - both cities in northern Syria where Turkish forces have carried out operations against the YPG in recent years.

The woman, with curly hair and in a purple jumper with the words 'New York' on it, was shown being brought into police headquarters in the TRT footage. Police used a dog to search the apartment and found gold, money and ammunition, it showed.

Six Turkish citizens, two members each of three families, were killed in the attack. No group has claimed responsibility.

Earlier television news reports showed images of a person, who appeared to be a woman, leaving a package below a raised flower bed in the middle of the street.

MNA/PR

News Code 193636

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