Ankara ‘temporarily’ suspends embassy

Ankara ‘temporarily’ suspends embassy

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey “temporarily” suspended all activities at its embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus yesterday, as the security situation in Syria continued to deteriorate.

Ambassador Ömer Önhon and embassy staff were on their way to return Turkey via Lebanon yesterday. Activities at the embassy in the Syrian capital are being “temporarily suspended,” a brief statement posted on the embassy’s website said late 25 March. The embassy has been closed because of the poor security situation in Syria, a Turkish diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News, adding that the Turkish consulate in Aleppo will remain operational. Turkey hard not yet cut off its diplomatic relations with Syria, the diplomat said.

Önhon may be contact person for Syria meeting

Turkey is considering assigning ambassador Önhon as a contract person for the Friends of Syria group and for relations with the Syrian opposition. The move came up two days after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that Turkey had had enough of “interlocution” and was on the brink of withdrawing its ambassador.

Turkey will hold the Friends of Syria group’s meeting in April, seeking to find further ways into halting violenc. The foreign ministry also called on all Turkish citizens currently in Syria to return to Turkey as soon as possible. On the other hand, Turkey’s main opposition party has criticized the Turkish government’s decision to recall its ambassador from Damascus. Turkey has given a message that “it would be impossible not to intervene Syria,” Faruk Loğoğlu, deputy CHP leader said yesterday in a written statement. Loğoğlu accused the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of not behaving honestly or transparently with Turkish people over the Syrian issue.