(Istanbul) Ambassadors from nine Western countries were summoned by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Thursday, after several of them closed their consulates to the public this week in Istanbul citing the risk of terrorism, the state agency reported. Anadolu.
The nine countries concerned are the United States, France, Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy and Sweden, a diplomatic source told AFP. covered with anonymity.
At least six of these countries – including France, Britain, Germany and the Netherlands – had announced in recent days that they were temporarily closing their consular representations to visitors in Istanbul.
Several Western chancelleries have since Friday called on their nationals in Turkey to show “vigilance” in the face of the risk of attacks, in retaliation according to them for burnings of Korans in several countries of northern Europe.
The United States and France in particular then recommended avoiding certain tourist areas in the center of Istanbul such as Taksim Square and the surroundings of churches and synagogues.
Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Thursday accused these countries of having launched a “psychological war” against Turkey, likely to harm tourism.
The spokesman for the presidential AKP party called the Western warnings “irresponsible”.
Several demonstrations took place at the end of January in Stockholm, The Hague and Copenhagen, during which copies of the Koran, the holy book of Muslims, were burned or desecrated.
The extremist who carried out the burnings in the Swedish and Danish capitals claims to be protesting against Turkey’s veto on Sweden’s entry into NATO.