Turkish Interior Minister: We reject US condolences over deadly blast

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has said that they reject the condolences of the U.S. Embassy in Turkey over the deadly blast on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue that killed at least six people. Soylu said that the U.S. is “feeding the terrorist organizations” that are behind the bombing.

Duvar English

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Nov. 14 said they reject the condolences of the U.S. Embassy in Turkey over the blast on Istanbul’s iconic Istiklal Avenue, that killed at least six people and injured 81. Soylu noted that two countries alliance should be discussed.

“We know the message given to us. I emphasize again: We do not accept the U.S. Embassy's condolences, we reject it. Of course, our alliance with a state that sends money from its own Senate to this mentality that feeds Kobane and terror (groups) and tries to disturb Turkey's peace should of course be discussed,” Soylu said while paying visit to the incident location on Istiklal Avenue.

“We are not anyone's enemies, we do not have eyes on anyone's lands, we do not betray anyone, but I would like to express that of course we have no power to endure this treachery. Of course, the terrorists were caught with the successful operation. If we hadn't caught them, they would have been smuggled to Greece today,” Soylu further said.

“Whoever is feeding the PYD there, who is trying to provide internal intelligence to the PKK, is the perpetrator,” he added.

In response, the Embassy told online news outlet T24 that "The United States firmly condemns all forms of terrorism and acts in solidarity with our valuable NATO Ally, Turkey."

A blast hit Istanbul’s iconic Istiklal Avenue on Nov. 13. Television news reports showed images of a person, who appeared to be a woman, leaving a package below a raised flower bed in Istiklal Avenue with a tramline running the length of the street.

After the blast, the U.S. Embassy in Turkey said in a tweet that "The U.S. Mission in Türkiye is deeply saddened by the explosion in Istanbul this afternoon. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and wish a speedy recovery for the injured."

Soylu blamed the Kurdish YPG militia and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) for the bombing. Ankara says the YPG, which Washington has supported in Syria, is a wing of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

On the other hand, the PKK denied involvement with the blast.

Istanbul has been targeted in the past by Kurdish, Islamist and leftist militants. An offshoot of the PKK claimed twin bombings outside an Istanbul soccer stadium in December 2016 that killed 38 people and wounded 155.