A diplomatic facility in Adana, Türkiye was shuttered due to fears of “violent” demonstrations
The United States has closed its consulate office in southern Türkiye indefinitely, predicting “several weeks” of heated protests linked to the ongoing war between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza.
The US Embassy in Türkiye announced the move on Wednesday night, saying the consulate in the city of Adana would be closed to the public “until further notice” while urging American citizens to avoid traveling to the area.
“Large demonstrations related to events in Israel and Gaza are expected throughout Türkiye for the next several weeks. Any gathering, even those intended to be peaceful, could escalate and turn violent,” the embassy said in a statement, adding that “protest activity may result in enhanced police presence, road closures, and traffic disruptions.”
While the embassy initially said the closure would only last through Wednesday, it later clarified that the move was indefinite.
Demonstrations have erupted in cities around the globe over Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, which started earlier this month following a deadly Hamas attack on Israel. Protests in several Muslim-majority nations only intensified on Tuesday, following an attack on a Palestinian hospital which reportedly left 500 dead. Officials in Gaza have blamed Israeli forces for the deaths, though the IDF insists that the hospital was hit by a rocket fired by the Palestinians.
In addition to towns across Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, protests have also been seen in Türkiye, including in Istanbul, Malatya, Gaziantep and Kayseri. In Beirut, rioters attempted to storm a US diplomatic mission and clashed with police. The American embassy in Cairo warned US citizens to avoid large gatherings and “keep a low profile,” citing possible “anti-US sentiment” among locals.
Demonstrators have also staged actions at Israeli diplomatic offices in Türkiye, with the Israeli government advising its citizens to leave the country immediately on Tuesday due to “the heightened motivation of terrorist actors and lone assailants to target Israelis in various countries worldwide.”
Israel has launched air strikes on Gaza since Hamas and allied militant groups carried out a surprise attack on Israel on October 7. At least 3,000 people have been killed in the Palestinian enclave, in addition to some 1,400 Israelis, according to officials on both sides.
October 19, 2023 at 10:46AM