ISTANBUL: France on Wednesday said it had closed its embassy in the Turkish capital Ankara and its consulate in Istanbul until further notice, after cancelling events to mark the July 14 Bastille Day holiday due to a “real and concrete” security threat.
The sudden closures of the missions came with Turkey on edge after the triple suicide attack last month on Istanbul´s main airport which was blamed on Islamic State (IS) jihadists.
“The Embassy of France in Ankara, as well as the Consulate General in Istanbul will be closed from Wednesday July 13, 1:00 pm (1000 GMT), until further notice,” the embassy said in a statement after scrapping the July 14 receptions at the missions on security grounds.
The doors of its premises were shut with a sign in French and Turkish saying the mission was closed for security reasons. Armed police patrolled outside.
France´s consulate in Istanbul, its embassy in Ankara and its mission in the Aegean city of Izmir were all to have held celebrations marking the July 14 French national day.
Earlier, the Istanbul consulate sent an email message to French citizens in Turkey saying there had been “concurring information of a serious threat against the organisation of the July 14 celebrations in Turkey”.
The June 28 attack on Ataturk International Airport raised new alarm over the security of foreigners in Turkey after a spate of attacks this year blamed on jihadists and Kurdish militants.
Several foreign missions in Turkey, including the embassies and consulates of Germany and the United States, have closed for short periods this year due to a security threat.
Courtesy : TheNews