US Embassy to Turkey limits operations due to ‘possible security threat’
ANKARAThe U.S. Embassy in the capital city of Ankara has decided to limit services for Dec. 14 and Dec. 15 due to “a possible security threat.”
“For now, we shifted to limited operations for today and tomorrow [Dec. 15] due to a possible security threat,” an official from the U.S. Embassy told Hürriyet Daily News on Dec. 14.
The official, who requested anonymity, declined to comment on the nature of the threat and referred Hürriyet Daily News to Turkish security officials for measures being taken on the ground.
In a message posted to the U.S. Embassy’s official page later on Dec. 14, the embassy released a security message for U.S. citizens, informing them about limited consular services on Dec. 14 and Dec. 15.
“Public services, including visa appointments and non-emergency American citizen services appointments for Dec. 14 and 15 are cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later date. Please note the embassy’s operating status may be subject to change as the security situation evolves. The embassy urges U.S. citizens to avoid the embassy on those dates,” the embassy said.
U.S. Consulate General Istanbul, U.S. Consulate Adana and Consular Agency İzmir will operate normally, it noted.
“We strongly encourage U.S. citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events and take the appropriate steps to bolster your personal security,” the embassy further stated.
The announcement by the U.S. diplomatic mission in Ankara followed last week’s decision by the U.S. consulate in Istanbul to offer only limited services with a smaller staff due to a possible security threat on Dec. 9.
“Due to information about a possible security threat against the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, the consulate will open with limited staff and services” on Dec. 9, the mission said in a statement at the time.
As of Dec. 5, the U.S. authorities warned of an “imminent security threat against the U.S. consulate compound” in Turkey’s largest city.
Two massive suicide bombings blamed on a local cell of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) killed more than 130 people in attacks near a town on the Syrian border in July and in Ankara in October.