France temporally closed its Consulate General in Istanbul on Thursday due to the perceived threat of terrorist attacks in the city center, becoming the fifth country to do so
ISTANBUL (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 02nd February, 2023) France temporally closed its Consulate General in Istanbul on Thursday due to the perceived threat of terrorist attacks in the city center, becoming the fifth country to do so.
Earlier in the week, the consulates of Sweden, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany in Istanbul stopped receiving visitors after the US warned about possible terrorist attacks. On Thursday, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu called the move a "psychological war" against his country.
"The French Consulate General in Istanbul is closed to visitors on Thursday, February 2 and Friday, February 3. For administrative matters, we can be contacted by e-mail," the consulate said in a statement.
The closed consulates, with the exception of the US diplomatic mission, are located in the central district of Beyoglu, where the November 2022 terrorist attack took place.
The Russian Consulate said that it will continue work as usual. The US Consulate General in Istanbul also said it had no plans to stop receiving visitors despite the possible threat of terrorist attacks in the city, which it had warned about.
On Monday, the US Embassy in Turkey warned Americans of possible imminent retaliatory attacks by terrorists against churches, synagogues, and diplomatic missions in Istanbul or other places Westerners frequent, especially in the Beyoglu, Galata, Taksim and Istiklal areas.
The new warning was an update to the January 27 security alert released amid the burning of copies of the Muslim holy book by far-right activists in Europe. The French diplomatic mission then issued a similar warning, citing information from the US Embassy.
Earlier in January, Rasmus Paludan, the leader of the far-right Danish political party Stram Kurs, burned copies of the Quran in Sweden and Denmark in protest against the Turkish leadership. A similar protest was carried out by far-right Dutch politician and leader of the Islamophobic group Pegida Edwin Wagensveld in the Netherlands, when he tore out pages from a copy of the Muslim holy book and burned them in front of the parliamentary building in The Hague.