Turkish army chief discusses Istanbul terror attack with US counterpart

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The discussion comes on the heels of a deadly bombing at one of Istanbul’s most crowded streets that left at least six dead and 81 injured.

FILE PHOTO: The Turkish chief of general staff Yasar Guler (R) held a phone call with his US counterpart Mark Milley on the terrorist attack in Istanbul.
(Turkish Armed Forces via AA)

The Turkish chief of general staff Yasar Guler has raised Sunday’s terrorist attack at Istanbul’s iconic Istiklal Avenue with his US counterpart Mark Milley.  Guler had a phone call with Milley on Monday and discussed the deadly attack that left six people dead and 81 others injured.In a statement, US Joint Staff spokesman Col. Dave Butler said the two army chiefs “reaffirmed the strength of our (US-Türkiye) bilateral military relationship” in the call.Sunday’s deadly explosion that took place on Istiklal Avenue in the Beyoglu district was carried out by the YPG/PYD/PKK terrorist organisation, according to Turkish authorities. The suspect, a Syrian woman, has been arrested, said Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.READ MORE: Prime suspect in Istanbul bomb attack detained: Turkish authoritiesFor Ankara, Washington’s continued support for affiliates of the PKK terror group in the name of fighting Daesh in Syria has long been a sore point between the two NATO allies. But Washington has not done enough to win Türkiye’s confidence on the issues concerning the country’s national security and fight against terrorism.Washington’s traditional allies in Europe are also showing leniency toward the illicit activities of the PKK and its affiliates. A report published in July, titled “European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2022,” notes that the PKK and its affiliates continued its propaganda, protest, recruitment and fundraising activities throughout Europe despite Covid-19 and that PKK members have been found involved in “organised crime such money laundering, racketeering, extortion and drug trafficking”.Türkiye has been determined to convince European leaders to eliminate the presence of the PKK and its affiliates from the continent. Turkish leadership has consistently voiced objections to Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership bids following the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict, criticising the countries for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups such as the PKK and the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO).In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organisation by Türkiye, the US and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is its Syrian offshoot.READ MORE: Istiklal bombing puts spotlight on US support for PKK/YPG
Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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