Status: 02/01/2023 3:46 p.m
The German consulate general in Istanbul has been temporarily closed. The reason is the fear of violent reactions to the desecration of the Koran in several European cities. The Foreign Office advises German citizens to be vigilant.
The German consulate general in the center of the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul will remain closed for the time being due to the increased risk of attack. This emerges from a message from the Foreign Office to German citizens in Turkey.
After the most recent incidents in European capitals, such as a public burning of the Koran, “according to the security authorities,” the risk of terrorist attacks in Istanbul has increased, especially in the inner city area, it said. This risk is particularly high in the Beyoglu district and around the central Taksim square.
Foreign Office issues warnings
The Federal Foreign Office recommended that German citizens be particularly vigilant and avoid crowds and the areas mentioned as much as possible. “If you live there, limit your stay outside of the apartments to what is absolutely necessary,” it said.
The Swedish Embassy in Ankara and the Consulate General in Istanbul also remained closed to visitors, as the Swedish Foreign Ministry in Stockholm confirmed to the dpa news agency. The British Consulate General is also not currently open to the public, according to the country’s travel advice.
Several European countries and the USA had already warned their citizens last week of an increased risk of attacks in Turkey. The USA tightened its warning on Monday and specified Istanbul.
Several Islamophobic actions in Europe
Turkey, in turn, had warned its citizens of attacks in Europe and the United States. Security precautions in their own country have been tightened. Background are several Islamophobic actions in Europe. In Sweden, a right-wing extremist burned a copy of the Koran – the Holy Scriptures of Islam – in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm. A Koran was also burned in Denmark last week, and a copy of the book was publicly torn up in the Netherlands.
Because of the incident in Sweden, Turkey had questioned the Scandinavian country’s approval of NATO membership.