On Monday, Turkey rejected US condolences over the six deaths in an Istanbul bomb blast that Ankara likened to an outlawed Kurdish militant group.
Kurdish fighters in northern Syria are considered “terrorists” by Ankara, which is why President Recep Tayyip Erdogan frequently charges Washington with providing weapons to them.
“We reject the condolence message from the US embassy.” Suleyman Soylu, the interior minister, stated in televised remarks, “We reject it.”
Earlier, Soylu claimed that the attack on Sunday’s crowded and historic Istiklal Avenue was carried out by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara claims is a division of the PKK.
Soylu stated that the order was given in Kobani and that the bomber passed through Afrin, both cities in northern Syria where Turkish forces have performed operations against the YPG in recent years.
Turkey has launched three incursions against the YPG in northern Syria, including one in 2019, seizing hundreds of kilometres of land. President Tayyip Erdogan stated earlier this year that another operation was imminent.
The US has supported the YPG in Syria’s conflict, causing friction with fellow NATO member Turkey.
Several countries, including the United States, the European Union, Egypt, Ukraine, and Greece, condemned the attack and expressed condolences to the victims.