Erdogan spokesman condemns attack on U.S. embassy

Spokesman for Turkish President says attack on U.S. Embassy in Ankara was an attempt to create chaos.

Ben Ariel ,

Impacts of bullets in window of U.S. Embassy in Ankara
Impacts of bullets in window of U.S. Embassy in Ankara

A spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erodgan on Monday criticized the attack on the U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital, saying it was a clear attempt to “create chaos”, Reuters reported.

The spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, also said on Twitter that the incident was being investigated.

Several gunshots were fired on Monday morning from a vehicle at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara. There were no casualties but the building was reportedly damaged.

Officials later said two people with criminal records were detained in connection with the attack, according to The Associated Press.

The Ankara governor's office named the suspects as Ahmet Celikten, 39, and Osman Gundas, 38, saying they had confessed. Authorities seized a 9-millimeter gun and a vehicle with Ankara license plates.

Celikten had escaped prison and Gundas had several crimes under his belt, including car theft, drugs and threats, the governor's office said.

The U.S. Embassy thanked Turkish authorities, tweeting that it appreciated their "fast and professional action" in arresting the two suspects.

It is unclear whether the attack was related to the ongoing tensions between the U.S. and Turkey over the detainment of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been held by Ankara since 2016 and faces 35 years in prison on espionage and terror-related charges.

President Donald Trump recently imposed sanctions on several Turkish officials and a 20 percent duty on aluminum and a 50 percent duty on steel in response to the continued imprisonment of Brunson.

In response, Turkey imposed tariffs on certain imports from the United States.

Trump on Monday made clear that he would not make any concessions to Turkey to gain Brunson’s freedom, adding he was not concerned that retaliatory tariffs he imposed will have a ripple effect and hurt the European economy.

“I think it’s very sad what Turkey is doing. I think they’re making a terrible mistake. There will be no concessions,” Trump told Reuters in an interview.

“I’m not concerned at all. I’m not concerned. This is the proper thing to do,” he replied when asked about the potential damage to other economies from the tariffs he imposed.