Ahmet Çelikten, who is accused of opening fire on the US Embassy in Ankara on Monday, admitted in testimony that his motive was annoyance stemming from successive losses in value of the Turkish lira and US President Donald Trump’s recent threats against Turkey, the Hürriyet daily reported.
Turkish police on Monday captured two suspects, Çelikten and Osman Gündaş, who was driving the car, in connection with the drive-by shooting at the embassy. The two suspects had previously been convicted of petty crimes.
“We were driving around the city in Osman’s car and drinking. We were talking about the Turkish lira, Trump’s threats and remarks. Under the effect of the alcohol, we got angry and decided to act,” Çelikten said.
“While we were passing by the embassy building, I decided to shoot in that direction. Nobody directed, ordered or instigated it.”
The gunshots came after a row between Turkey and the US over an American pastor’s incarceration for almost two years on “terrorism” charges. Following a court’s decision to put Andrew Brunson under house arrest, US President Trump ordered sanctions on Turkey and threatened more.
The gunshots caused no injuries.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also escalated the tension with the US following the imposition of sanctions on two Turkish ministers and doubled tariffs on aluminum and steel, claiming it was an “economic attack” on his country.