France on Wednesday closed its embassy in the Turkish capital, Ankara, and its consulate in Istanbul until further notice citing security reasons. “The Embassy of France in Ankara, as well as the Consulate General in Istanbul will be closed from Wednesday July 13, 1:00 p.m. (1000 GMT), until further notice,” the French embassy said in a statement.
The embassy has also scrapped its planned traditional July 14 Bastille Day receptions at the missions on security grounds. France’s embassy in Ankara, its consulate in Istanbul and its mission in the Aegean city of Izmir had been scheduled to hold celebrations marking the July 14 events. The Consulate General in Istanbul said there was information suggesting a “serious threat against plans for the celebration of the July 14 national holiday in Turkey.”
Muriel Domenach, the French consul to Istanbul, wrote on social networking website Twitter that the events in all the three cities had been cancelled “for security reasons.” Domenach added that the decision had been taken in coordination with the Turkish authorities. The Istanbul consulate has sent an email to French citizens in Turkey saying that there had been “concurring information of a serious threat against the organization of the July 14 celebrations in Turkey.”
Turkey is on a high security alert following the June 28 terrorist attack at the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, where nearly 50 people were killed and more than 200 others were injured. Officials have blamed the Daesh Takfiri terrorists for the attack although the Takfiri group has not claimed responsibility. The bombing in Istanbul followed a spate of attacks across Turkey this year blamed on Daesh and militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).