Finding perpetrator of attack on Turkish House ‘only a matter of time’, says FM Cavusoglu

10:35 . 24/05/2023 Wednesday
Türkiye’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

Türkiye’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

Finding the perpetrator of the attack on the Turkish House in New York City is “only a matter of time,” Türkiye’s foreign minister said Tuesday.

Speaking to TV100, Mevlut Cavusoglu said the attacker has not been caught yet, but US authorities are working hard to track him down.

“He had a hat, but his face was uncovered, a crowbar in his hand…He hit the windows with it and left the crowbar on the ground there and ran away,” said Cavusoglu.

“There was also a fingerprint on the crowbar he used, so it's only a matter of time before he gets caught. We think he can't escape,” he added.

Cavusoglu said the Turkish Consulate General held a joint meeting with the New York Police Department (NYPD), the US State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service and the Permanent Representative of the US to the UN and intensive efforts are continuing to catch the attacker.

New York Mayor Eric Adams visited the Turkish House, said Cavusoglu. A police post will be set up in front of the building, he added. He noted that NYPD vehicles will be there until the police post is established.

Cavusoglu said the State Department is also closely following developments, adding he also spoke with US Ambassador to Türkiye Jeff Flake and thanked him for their close attention.

“Of course, as the host country, the United States is responsible for the protection of diplomatic missions. We are also responsible for those in Türkiye. The Vienna Convention is also clear. We expect this person to be caught as soon as possible,” he said.

“We requested that additional security measures be provided not only to the Turkish House, but to all our missions in the US. Our Ambassador and our friends are following (things) closely.”

The Turkish House, a dedicated building for diplomatic missions and cultural events, was attacked in the early hours of Monday.

The assailant smashed the windows of the building at 3.14 a.m. local time, Turkish Consul General in New York Reyhan Ozgur told Anadolu.

He said no one was hurt, but 12 windows and the doors of the building, which opened in 2021, were damaged.

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the US to find the "terrorist" who attacked the Turkish House and "do what is necessary."

"In Europe, the PKK (terrorist group) has seen that things are getting worse, (and) they have started to attack the voters. They probably say that these voters are in favor of the People's Alliance. That's why they attack them.

"What is more, they have attacked the Turkish House in America, just across from the United Nations (building) in the US, and broke the windows. Why? You were democrat. What do you gain by attacking the Turkish House, breaking the windows?" said Erdogan.

"Now aren't we going to tell the American authorities and security forces 'You need to find this terrorist quickly, and you need to do what is necessary’? I wonder if a similar incident happened in Türkiye, how would you look at it?" he told an event in Istanbul.

The Turkish House, he said, is entrusted to US authorities there.

"You need to find this terrorist who broke the windows of the Turkish House with a crowbar."

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US and European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

#Mevlut Cavusoglu
#New York City
#Recep Tayyip Erdogan
#Reyhan Ozgur
#Turkish House
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