WORLD Switzerland closes Istanbul consulate over security concerns


Switzerland closes Istanbul consulate over security concerns


07:52, February 03, 2023

Photo taken on Dec. 26, 2021 shows a view of the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul, Turkey. (File photo: Xinhua)

ISTANBUL, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Switzerland joined the growing list of Western countries having their consulates in Istanbul temporarily closed over security concerns in Türkiye.

"For security reasons, the Consulate General of Switzerland will be closed until further notice," the consulate announced in a statement on its website.

On the same day, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said that the consulate closures were part of a broader "psychological war" being waged against Türkiye.

"They have started a new psychological war against Türkiye on a day we announced our goal of 60 million tourists, a day we announced tourism earnings of 46 billion U.S. dollars," he noted.

Meanwhile, according to the state-run Anadolu agency, the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned nine ambassadors on Thursday over the temporary closing of their Istanbul consulates. The agency did not reveal the names of the countries.

The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, and Britain have already closed their consulates over possible retaliation to a growing number of Quran-burning incidents in Europe.

On Monday, the Turkish Interior Ministry announced that it had raised its security measures to the highest level against possible Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaida retaliation.

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