Turkey government 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.
According to the New York Times report about Sunday’s deadly blast on Istanbul’s best-known commercial avenue sparked anger on Twitter after focusing on the city’s tourist area instead of expressions of sympathy by the social media site’s users with the people of Türkiye.
Earlier, 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.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the bombing a “vile attack” that had the “smell of terror”.
A nine-year-old girl and her father, as well as a 15-year-old girl and her mother, were among those killed in the attack.
Istanbul police said Monday that 46 people had been detained in total. Erdogan’s government accused the PKK of carrying out the explosion shortly before the president landed on the Indonesian resort island of Bali for the G20 summit.
Police footage shared with Turkish media showed a young woman in a purple sweatshirt being apprehended in an Istanbul flat.
“The person who planted the bomb has been arrested,” interior minister Suleyman Soylu said in a statement broadcast by the official Anadolu news agency early Monday.