ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey on Thursday criticized a group of Western countries that temporarily closed their consulates in Istanbul for security reasons, accusing them of waging “psychological warfare” and trying to destroy Turkish tourism.
Germany, the Netherlands and Britain are among the countries that closed their consulates in the city of around 16 million people this week. The German Embassy has raised the risk of possible retaliatory attacks following Quran burning incidents in some European countries. The United States and other countries, meanwhile, have issued travel advisories urging citizens to be vigilant.
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the consulate closures and travel warnings were part of a Western plot to hurt a rebound in Turkey’s tourism sector, following the coronavirus pandemic.
“A day when we declared our goal of (attracting) 60 million tourists, at a time when 50.5 million tourists arrived and we got $46 billion in tourism revenue, they were about to trigger a new psychological war (against) Turkey,” said the minister, known for his anti-Western rhetoric.
Soylu said Turkey had carried out 60 operations against the Islamic State group so far this year and detained 95 people. Last year, nearly 2,000 IS suspects were arrested in more than 1,000 operations against the group, he said.
Earlier this week, the Interior Ministry said Turkish authorities arrested a number of suspects following a warning from a ‘friendly country’ but found no weapons, ammunition or signs. of a planned act of violence.
In November, six people were killed and several others were injured in a bomb attack on Istanbul’s busy Istiklal Avenue in the heart of the city. Turkish authorities blamed the attack on Kurdish militants. Several consulates are located near Istiklal.
Source : https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiZWh0dHBzOi8vYXBuZXdzLmNvbS9hcnRpY2xlL3BvbGl0aWNzLXR1cmtleS1nb3Zlcm5tZW50LWJ1c2luZXNzLWNvdmlkLWY2NWUyZTIyM2U5NmQwYzkxZjZlY2I0NzhkZDY5NzE00gEA?oc=5