Iran ‘concerned over attacks on nationals in Turkey’
TEHRAN – Agence France-PresseIran has expressed its concerns to Turkey’s ambassador over a recent spate of attacks on its citizens in the neighboring country, news media reported on Aug. 20.
Nine Iranian trucks and a bus have been attacked or torched in Turkey since late July, Tabnak news agency quoted a transport official as saying on Aug. 18.
In one of the attacks, none of which have been claimed, an Iranian was killed.
Ambassador Rıza Hakan Tekin was invited to the foreign ministry on Aug. 19 and met by a top diplomat, who urged Ankara to take the security of Iranians more seriously, according to official IRNA news agency.
Morteza Moradian, the director general responsible for Turkish affairs, “expressed concerns over the continued attacks against Iranian citizens and vehicles,” IRNA reported.
“We too are concerned by the this situation and will follow the matter seriously,” the ambassador was quoted as saying.
He was also called on August 9, after the Iranian was killed. No one claimed responsibility for the deadly attack but Turkish authorities blamed the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The ambassador then received a note from the ministry urging Ankara “to identify those involved, compensate the victims and take more measures to prevent such attacks,” the report said.
All of the recent attacks have been in southeastern Turkey on vehicles that entered through the Bazargan frontier post, and Iran has advised people to avoid using that crossing and instead to take an alternate but longer route via the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan.
Tehran has also suspended its train route to Ankara after two blasts on the railway in eastern Turkey late last month.
Unrest started in Turkey with a series of attacks including a devastating suicide bombing blamed on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group jihadists.