Turkish suspects testify after attack on US embassy in Ankara

Turkish suspects testify after attack on US embassy in Ankara

Fevzi Kızılkoyun - ANKARA
Turkish suspects testify after attack on US embassy in Ankara

One of the suspects who were detained over the attack targeting the United States Embassy in Ankara has told the police that he shot at the building out of anger over President Donald Trump’s statements against Turkey and the ensuing rise of US dollar against the Turkish lira.

Ahmet Çelikten, 39, and Osman Gündaş, 38, were detained after six shots were fired from a white vehicle at the U.S. Embassy’s main entrance in Ankara at 5.30 a.m. local time on Aug. 20. Three bullets hit the metal door and glass panel of the security cabin, causing no casualties.

“I had called Osman that night and we met. We drank and drove around. We talked about the dollar crisis, about the U.S. threats against Turkey and about the recent statements of U.S. President. Then we got angry and decided to shoot at the U.S. embassy under the influence of alcohol,” Çelikten said in his police testimony.

According to a security source, no evidence was found that the two ex-convicts could be directed by a third person.

The anti-terror investigation was taken over by public security units, as the two suspects were sent to the court on Aug. 22.

The incident, which was denounced by the Turkish government as "a clear provocation," comes as ties between Ankara and Washington are in an unprecedented crisis over the continued detention of Pastor Andrew Brunson.

U.S. administration had imposed sanctions and vows to do more against Turkey in the case the pastor would not be released immediately.

The lira has lost about 40 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar so far this year. It weakened on Aug. 21 after Trump, speaking in a Reuters interview, said he would “give Turkey no concessions” in return for the release of Brunson.

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Turkey sanctions, Andrew Brunson, Crime