West’s consulate closures ‘intentional’: FM

West’s consulate closures ‘intentional’: FM

West’s consulate closures ‘intentional’: FM

The decision taken by the prominent western countries, including the United States, over an unclear security threat is intentional and serving the terror organizations, Türkiye’s top diplomat has said, warning them to fully cooperate with the Turkish authorities if they have concrete intelligence.

“If there is a terror threat and this threat is against an ally, shouldn’t this country inform us from where and who this threat is coming from? They tell us ‘We have concrete intelligence about a threat, and therefore, we close the consulates.’ But who will attack and where? No information on this,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said at a joint press conference with visiting Argentinian Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero in Istanbul on Feb. 3.

Nine Western countries, the U.S., France, Germany, Britain, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland and Sweden temporarily closed their consulates following issuing security alerts for their citizens over an alleged terror attack that would target foreigners in downtown Istanbul.

Çavuşoğlu said no concrete intelligence was shared with the Turkish authorities, stressing, “What needs to be done rightly is disseminating this information to our security and intelligence so that this threat can be contained before it becomes an attack.”

Recalling that the ambassadors of these nine countries were summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Feb. 2 to express Ankara’s disturbance over their closure of consulates, Çavuşoğlu said the Turkish government is considering this move as intentional.

“I say this for all these countries: Closing these consulates before sharing the details about the intelligence with us is intentional. If they want to give the impression that ‘Türkiye is unstable, Türkiye is under terror threat,’ then it is not suitable with friendship and allied relationship,” he stated.

“Especially if they are in an effort to put Türkiye, the AK Party government, and us in a difficult situation on the eve of the polls… Our people know the facts behind it. This will not serve them [the West]. That is why we are expecting honesty from them.”

The message conveyed to the envoys was that they should not serve the terror organizations and Türkiye is the only country fighting all the terrorists, including the PKK, YPG, FETÖ and ISIL, Çavuşoğlu informed.

“We made necessary warnings. If they repeat such moves without sharing with us concrete information and data, then there will be steps we will consider taking. This has been conveyed to them as well,” he stated.

According to a diplomatic source, the ministry reminded the summoned diplomats that the security of all diplomatic missions in Türkiye is ensured on the basis of international conventions and emphasized that such simultaneous activities do not constitute a proportional and prudent approach and that such approaches only serve the insidious agenda of terrorist organizations.

Ankara stated that Türkiye’s expectation from friendly and allied countries is cooperation with its security units, the source said.

The U.S. issued a security alert on Jan. 27 and was followed by France and Germany on the same day. The embassies announced this week that their consulates will be temporarily shut down due to heightened terror threats.

Soylu slams US ambassador

In the meantime, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu harshly slammed U.S. Ambassador to Ankara Jeff Flake in a statement on Feb. 3.

“I am telling the U.S. ambassador: I know which journalists you are instructing to write. Take your dirty hands off Türkiye. I openly say. Remove your dirty hands off Türkiye. I clearly know what steps you are taking and what you are doing to entangle Türkiye,” he said.