Turkey suspends consular activities in Aleppo due to security concerns
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
A Free Syrian Army soldier mans the last gate before the Turkish territory at the Bab Al-Salam border crossing. REUTERS photoTurkey has recalled its consular officials in Aleppo for consultations because of increasing security concerns after an explosion killed four of the Syrian president’s closest advisers in Damascus on July 18.
Consular officials in Aleppo, including Consul Adnan Keçeci, his deputy and security officials, arrived in Turkey this morning through the Karkamış border gate at around 11:30 a.m., a Turkish Foreign Ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News. The group will arrive in Ankara later today, the official added.
The consulate has not been closed, and a few members of the security detail have remained, the official said, implying that the consul might return to Aleppo if security concerns are eliminated.
The decision to recall the consul was taken during a Foreign Ministry meeting on July 19 during which officials discussed the possible consequences of the Damascus explosion, the Daily News has learned.
Turkey closed its embassy in Damascus in March due to deteriorating security conditions in Syria.
Despite the closure of the embassy, Turkey’s consulate in Aleppo has remained open to conduct work for Turkish citizens in the region.