Turkiye summons nine western ambassadors to protest embassies’ closure
Diplomatic tensions rose when Turkiye responded to an initial US security alert by warning citizens against possible xenophobic and racist attacks in Europe
By News Desk - February 03 2023

(Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images)

On 3 February, Turkiye summoned the ambassadors of nine western nations, including the US and Sweden, to criticize their actions in issuing security alerts and temporarily closing their diplomatic missions in response to alleged security threats.

Citing diplomatic sources, Anadolu News reported that diplomats from the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, Germany, Belgium, France, and Italy were also summoned.

Turkish officials reportedly stressed that the security of all diplomatic missions in Turkiye was guaranteed on the basis of international agreements.

The western envoys were also told that the simultaneous closure of numerous diplomatic representations and cultural centers “only helps the agenda of terrorist organizations,” according to an unidentified foreign ministry source.

The Turkish Interior Minister, Suleyman Soylu, claimed on Twitter that the embassies were engaging in “a new psychological war” against Turkiye.

This week, after the US State Department issued an “immediate” terror threat on 30 January, several European consulates closed down their consulates in Istanbul.

The warnings were issued in response to recent Quran burnings in Sweden, the Netherlands, and Denmark.

“There is a potential that citizens from western countries may be targets or caught up in attacks, particularly in the major cities,” according to a terror alert bulletin posted on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s website.

Synagogues, churches, and diplomatic missions in western states are under “imminent” threat from terrorism, according to a statement from the US State Department on 30 January.

The Turkish government canceled the visit of the Swedish minister of defense to Ankara as a result of the Quran-burning demonstration in Sweden on January 21.

“Defense Minister Jonson’s visit to Turkiye on January 27 is neither important nor meaningful. That is why we canceled the visit,” Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said.

Turkish authorities launched an investigation into the recent event in Sweden on January 13 after Turkish media said the action would impact Ankara’s approval of Sweden’s NATO membership application.

However, Swedish prosecutor Lucas Eriksson ruled that the behavior was not illegal according to Swedish law.

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