Turkey Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu rejected U.S. condolences after a deadly weekend bombing attack in Istanbul, accusing Washington of complicity.
According to Axios, after the Biden administration expressed condolences on Monday, Soylu said that was like "the murderer arriving as one of the first at the scene of the crime."
On Sunday, six people were killed and over 80 wounded in Istanbul's crowded Beyoglu shopping district.
Earlier reports mentioned Turkish authorities claiming Kurdish militants in Syria sent the arrested suspect to commit the attack. Soylu suggested the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Kurdish groups the Turkish government views as arms of the same terrorist group, were responsible.
The PKK denied involvement, adding it does not target civilians. An SDF spokesperson later also denied any involvement in the attack.
In the past, Washington outraged its Turkish allies by working closely with SDF to combat ISIS. The United States regards the PKK as a terrorist organization. The PKK, which advocates for Kurdish independence, has a long history of conducting attacks in Turkey.
After the attack, the White House released a statement on Sunday, saying: "We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our NATO Ally Turkey in countering terrorism."
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