US holds event in Turkey after identifying no ‘specific’ security threat, contrary to France
ANKARAThe United States Embassy in Ankara held its 240th Independence Day event on July 13, as no specific security threat was issued against the U.S. missions and nationals, on the same day the French Embassy in the capital and Consulate-General in Istanbul suspended their activities for security reasons.
“From our perspective, we did not see anything specific that would have merited, for us, postponing again or not hosting our event tonight,” U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass told reporters during the reception held in his residence late July 13. The reception was scheduled to be held on June 30 but had to be postponed due to a terror attack in Istanbul that killed 45 civilians on June 28.
“We’re constantly evaluating our security based on information that we’re aware of or we learn of, either independently or through cooperation with partners, and we make adjustments to our security as we feel necessary to address those specific threats,” Bass stressed.
On the French decision to cancel their National Day receptions in Ankara, Istanbul and İzmir, Bass said, “With respect to the French decision – it’s, I think, evidence of them doing a similar thing for themselves. But, you know, each government has a responsibility to protect its own citizens, and also guests of that particular embassy, at any point in time.”
Two ministers attend reception
Turkish Economy Minister Mehmet Şimşek and EU Minister Ömer Çelik represented the Turkish government at the reception along with some senior military and civilian officials.
In his opening statement Bass recalled that Turkish and American societies have suffered pain and loss because of terror attacks, adding, “While painful, whether they occurred in Istanbul or Orlando or Midyat or other places around the world, the attacks each country has suffered only serve to increase our determination to defend our democracies. We must ensure that tolerance and peace prevail over violence and hatred. And we must work to promote and protect the fundamental freedoms that form the foundations of our two democratic societies.”