Istanbul, – Turkish police have published further details after an attack that left six people dead in Istanbul and announced the arrest of a suspect.
The police had announced on Monday that the suspected attacker was Syrian and had admitted to having linked to the Syrian Kurdish militia, the People’s Defence Units (YPG).
Turkey equated the YPG with the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The PKK is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the EU and the U.S.
The Kurdish militia YPG, on the other hand, was not considered to be a terrorist organisation by the U.S. but was a partner in the Syrian civil war in the fight against the terrorist militia Islamic State.
Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu rejected Washington’s words of condolence following the attack.
Soylu repeated his accusation that Washington supported terrorist organisations in northern Syria and stated on Monday.
“We do not accept the condolences of the U.S. ambassador, we reject them.’’
The U.S. consulate and embassy, like other foreign embassies, had strongly condemned the attack and offered condolences to the victims.
Turkey often targeted alleged PKK posts in Iraq and Syria’s north and had been maintaining military posts in northern Iraq since 2016.
The conflict had cost tens of thousands of lives since it began in 1985.
According to the police, the assassin also confessed to haven entered Turkey illegally via Syria.
There were 46 arrests in connection with Sunday’s attack.
Earlier, Soylu had spoken of 22 arrests together with the main suspect.
A bomb was planted on Istanbul’s popular Istiklal Avenue, a pedestrian street that is one of the most famous in the city.
At least six people were killed and 81 injured on Sunday in what Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan denounced as a vile attack.
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay later said he assumed it was a terrorist attack.
The Turkish government had previously said it suspected a woman had taken part in the attack, which occurred at around 4:20 pm (1320 GMT).
Istiklal Avenue was the target of a terrorist attack in 2016 when a suicide bombing killed four people and injured 39 others.
According to the Turkish government, the bomber had links to the Islamic State but the terrorist group didn’t claim responsibility for the attack. (dpa/NAN)