US Secretary Kerry honors family of embassy attack victim
AA PhotoThe U.S. Embassy was U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s first stop during his visit to Ankara on March 1, as he attended a commemoration ceremony held for the Turkish security guard who was killed exactly one month ago in a terrorist attack at the embassy.
The attack took place on Feb. 1, the last day of Kerry’s predecessor’s tenure, and was carried out by an outlawed leftist group, the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C). Turkish security guard Mustafa Akarsu was killed in the attack and respected journalist Didem Tuncay was injured.
The ceremony at the embassy garden was attended by Akarsu’s wife, his children and his relatives, as well as U.S. Ambassador Francis Ricciardone, the embassy staff and their families.
Kerry presented Akarsu’s wife Yasemin and his children, Sami and Hilal, with the “Thomas Jefferson Star for Foreign Service,” for Akarsu’s heroism during the attack.
“On behalf of the people of the U.S., I bring you the condolences of President Barack Obama, everybody in the Congress, the administration and all of the American people. I offer my deepest condolences to Yasemin, Sami and Hilal and to the Akarsu family. All of us still mourn Mustafa’s sudden loss,” Kerry said.
The Embassy flag, which flew at half mast on Feb. 1, was also presented to the family by a U.S. soldier.