The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned US Ambassador David Sutherfield on Monday after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Washington of supplying weapons to the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK).
According to the Turkish daily Hurriyet, citing the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Ankara expressed its dissatisfaction with the US ambassador over a statement by the State Department condemning the PKK on terms after the (according to Turkey) killing of 13 Turkish citizens in northern Iraq.
Turkish officials said Sunday that 13 Turks, including soldiers and police, had been executed by the Kurdish group as part of a military operation in the Gara region of northern Iraq.
The US State Department has questioned whether the Kurdish organization is behind the killings of the thirteen Turks.
The PKK, for its part, said the Turkish captives were killed in a bombing after a mistake by Turkish forces.
“If reports of the death of Turkish civilians at the hands of the PKK, a designated terrorist organization, are confirmed, we condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
On Monday morning, Erdogan said it was time for the United States to stop supporting terrorist groups during a televised speech in his hometown of Rize, northeastern Turkey.
“The United States has given them weapons and they have fought against us. If we are going to be together within NATO, you will be by our side, not by the terrorists.” said the Turkish President.