Shots fired at American embassy in Ankara

No casualties as unidentified attacker fires bullets at US embassy security gate in Turkish capital amid deepening row between two NATO allies.
Monday 20/08/2018
A bullet mark was clearly visible on a security booth at the embassy

ANKARA - Gunshots were fired early Monday at the US embassy in Ankara but caused no casualties, Turkish and American officials said.

The early morning attack coincided with a deepening row between the two countries over the trial of a US pastor in Turkey.

An unidentified assailant or assailants fired six bullets at an embassy security gate from a passing white vehicle around 0530 a.m. local time (0230 GMT), three bullets hitting an iron door and a window, the Ankara governor's office said in a statement.

The embassy is closed this week for a public holiday to mark the Islamic Eid al-Adha festival.

A bullet mark was clearly visible on a security booth at the embassy, a journalist at the scene reported.

Omer Celik, spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), called the incident an "open provocation," without elaborating further.

"This is a clear attempt to create chaos," spokesman Ibarahim Kalin said on Twitter.

“Turkey is a safe country and all foreign missions are under the guarantee of the laws.”

The incident come as Ankara and Washington are locked in a bitter dispute over Turkey's detention of an American pastor on terror-related charges.

US President Donald Trump has doubled the tariffs on aluminium and steel tariffs from Turkey, prompting Ankara to sharply hike tariffs on several US products.

On Friday, Turkey threatened to respond in kind if Washington imposed further sanctions, while a court rejected last week another appeal to free pastor Andrew Brunson.

The diplomatic stand-off has sent the Turkish currency into free fall against dollar, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowing to emerge victorious out of the crisis.

In a written statement ahead of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha, Erdogan remained defiant.

"The attack aimed at our economy has no difference from an attack aimed at our call to prayer or flag," he said.

The president said those who believe they will bring Turkey to its knees through the foreign currency exchange rate "will soon see they are mistaken.