Special operations police patrol Istanbul’s İstiklal Avenue as French missions closed
DHA photoA group of armed special operations police officers in camouflage uniforms began to patrol Istanbul’s busy İstiklal Avenue on July 13, after France’s diplomatic missions in the country were closed and French National Day events were canceled due to security concerns.
Special operations police walked through Istiklal Avenue and patrolled around the French consulate building in Istanbul, which is located at the entrance of the avenue.
In addition, some special operations police also patrolled around various metrobus stations across the city.
The French Embassy in Ankara and the French Consulate in Istanbul will be closed until further notice after the country’s diplomatic missions in Turkey canceled their planned events to mark France’s National Day due to security concerns.
“For security reasons, July 14 receptions planned in Ankara, Istanbul and İzmir are cancelled. We have informed the Turkish authorities of this decision and remain in close contact with them. The Embassy of France in Ankara, as well as the Consulate General in Istanbul will be closed from Wednesday, July 13, 1 p.m., until further notice,” the French Embassy in Ankara said in a written statement issued on July 13. “We thank the French community in Turkey and all our guests for their understanding.”
The consulate in Istanbul had been due to hold a reception on the evening of July 13, while French missions in the capital Ankara and the Aegean coastal city of İzmir had planned events for the following day.
Turkey has recently been facing security threats, including from militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is said to have been behind the suicide attack on Istanbul Atatürk Airport last month which killed 45 people and wounded hundreds.
İstiklal Avenue is a famous street in the heart of the city which hosts shopping centers and entertainment venues as well as a number of consulate buildings.
On March 19, three Israelis and one Iranian were killed and dozens were injured in a suicide bomb attack on the avenue blamed on the jihadist group.