We reported earlier on Monday that Turkey has made an arrest for the terror bombing of a busy tourist hub in central Istanbul which left six people dead and dozens more injured.
But soon after the rare deadly attack which Turkey quickly blamed on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) - and despite no official initial claims of responsibility - Ankara officials used the incident to air broader geopolitical grievances.
Turkey lashed out at Washington, going so far as to suggest the Untied States was to blame the blast. "Turkey’s interior minister accused the U.S. of being complicit in a recent bombing in the city of Istanbul on Sunday that left at least six people dead and dozens of others injured," The Hill reports.
The accusation was prompted by an official condolence statement from the US Embassy in Ankara. Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu in a dramatic press conference said that Turkey has rejected the condolence statement from Washington.
"I emphasize once again that we do not accept, and reject the condolences of the US Embassy," Soylu said, according to Turkish state media publication Anadolu Agency.
Soylu slammed the US statement as being akin to "a killer being first to show up at a crime scene." The allegation was hurled due to America's well known longtime support of Syrian Kurds, which form the core of the US-trained Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Ankara has long alleged that Washington is giving aid to "terrorists".
The hugely provocative Turkish reaction to the US condolence message came despite the White House saying it stands "shoulder-to-shoulder" with its NATO ally Turkey.
Turkey will likely hold this against NATO applicants Finland and Sweden as well, given it has been blocking their membership to the Western military alliance based on accusations that they harbor Kurdish terrorists and entities linked to the outlawed PKK.
Turkey says it has a Syrian woman linked to the PKK in custody. However, both the PKK and Syrian YPG (as well as SDF) have issued official statements denying their involvement.