The consulates of six countries in Turkey’s largest city Istanbul closed on Wednesday over security concerns following recent far-right Islamophobic protests in Europe, Artı Gerçek reported.
Germany, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Canada closed their embassies and issued warnings to citizens, designating Turkey a “risky” country in terms of security as tensions rose after far right groups burnt a Quran in Sweden and tore up pages from Islam’s holy book in the Netherlands.
The US embassy in Ankara issued notices just days apart to warn Americans of possible attacks against churches, synagogues, and diplomatic missions in Istanbul.
In addition to the six consulates, the Pierre Loti French High School located in central Istanbul will also close on Thursday and Friday due to high risk of a terrorist attack.
Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu protested the closure of consulates and said it was an “international operation” against Turkey. “At a time when we aim for a target of 60 million tourists, they are on the verge of starting a new psychological war against Turkey,” Soylu said.
Meanwhile, the European far right appears to be preparing for further protests involving the Quran. The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Norway’s ambassador over intelligence that a group was planning to hold, on Friday, “another action that includes an attack against the Holy Quran,” Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency reported.