US missions closed after firearm incident in Ankara, Iran takes measures
ANKARAThe United States Embassy in Ankara and its consulates in Istanbul and Adana will be closed for normal operations on Dec. 20 after an individual approached the embassy in Ankara and discharged a firearm, the embassy has stated, as the Iranian diplomatic missions in Turkey were also suspended on Dec. 20.
The embassy said the individual, who opened fire at 3:50 am, was in police custody and there were no reported injuries in the incident, which occurred hours after Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov was shot dead at an arts center nearby by an off-duty Turkish policeman.
“The U.S. Mission reminds U.S. citizens to review personal security plans, ensure communication connectivity, to remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and to monitor local news for breaking events. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security,” said the U.S. Embassy in a written statement.
The Iranian embassy in Ankara announced that its consulates in the three Turkish cities of Istanbul, Trabzon and Erzurum will be closed on Dec. 20 after the Russian envoy’s killing.
“All consular services at the Iranian consulates in Istanbul, Trabzon and Erzurum will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 20. We urge all Iranians to avoid visiting these locations,” the embassy said in a statement on its website.
It also conveyed its solidarity to the family of the murdered envoy, declaring in a Dec. 19 statement that the terrorist attack is as “inhumane and criminal.”
“This criminal assault shows that these terrorists, who are linked to tekfiri and extremist movements, are not bound by any international law and commit such brutal murders in order to create insecurity and crisis in the direction of their own aims and inhuman scenarios,” said the embassy.
“This murder and the painful terrorist events in Turkey, Syria and Iraq have recently revealed the necessity of the unity and solidarity between peoples and states and of making unrelenting struggle against terrorism and extremist movements regardless of making a good or bad terrorist distinction,” read the statement.
Security has been tightened at Turkey’s diplomatic missions in Russia, the Russian Interior Ministry has stated.
“The police stepped up security at Turkey’s diplomatic missions in the Russian Federation,” ministry spokeswoman Irina Volk was quoted as saying by the official TASS news agency.
Volk said Turkey’s embassy in Moscow and consulates in Russian cities are now under “round-the-clock” protection.