The US Embassy in Ankara has thanked the Turkish authorities for preventing terrorist threats in İstanbul, in a statement shared on its official Twitter account on Monday.
“Thanks and respect once again to the Turkish National Police who disrupted specific terrorist threats in recent weeks in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu District: Taksim, İstiklal & Galata,” the Embassy said, without making it clear which group or groups posed the terrorist threats in question and when such preventative actions had been carried out by the police.
Due to the police work, these areas in İstanbul continue to be iconic places that welcome visitors and exemplify Turkey, the Embassy added.
While acknowledging that challenges will always exist, the embassy encouraged visitors to stay up-to-date with the latest developments by checking the travel advisories on the US Department of State’s website.
The embassy reiterated its solidarity with Turkey against terrorism, adding that the United States stand wholeheartedly once again with Turkey and together with allies and partners look forward to helping the country to recovery following the 6 February twin earthquakes that hit the south of the country, causing severe destruction in 10 provinces and leaving at least 50,000 people dead.
In early February, just before the disaster, the US embassy had issued warnings to Americans about possible attacks on churches, synagogues, and diplomatic missions in Istanbul. Other countries, including Germany, France, the Netherlands, Britain, Switzerland and Canada had also closed their embassies after issuing similar warnings to their citizens, designating Turkey as a “risky” country.
These announcements of the foreign missions came after some far-right groups had organised protests in Europe, during which copies of Islam’s holy book the Quran were burnt.
Ankara strongly criticised the closure of the consulates, accusing the Western countries of serving the agenda of terrorist organisations. Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu even went so far as to accuse the United States of “nurturing” terrorists.