One of the first to close was the British Consulate. The country's foreign ministry has also updated its travel advice for Turkey, warning its citizens of the risks. “There is a possibility that citizens of Western countries may be targets or even victims of attacks, especially in large cities,” — British Foreign Office warns.
The German consulate in Turkey closed on the same day, also canceling visa and other appointments. It is not yet specified when employees will resume receiving citizens. The German Embassy in Ankara remains open. “After recent incidents in several European capitals, the security authorities believe that the risk of terrorist attacks in Istanbul has increased,” — German officials justifying their decision said in a statement.
The Consulate also advised German citizens living in Turkey and German tourists to avoid Istanbul's central Beyoglu and Taksim Square, as well as crowded “international crowds” these days ;.
The Swedish and Dutch consulates have also stopped receiving visitors.
The French Consulate General in Istanbul has warned that it will be closed to the public for two consecutive working days — on Thursday and Friday. It is not yet clear whether they will open their doors again on Monday.
In his video message, the Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Turkey, Suleyman Soylu, said that Western countries have launched a new psychological war against Turkey. “We all know very well that their goal — cloud stability and peace in Turkey,” he said, adding that embassies and consulates were closed on the very day Turkey announced that its tourism revenue was $46 billion.
January 30 Ministry of the Interior Turkish Affairs also issued a travel warning for Turkish citizens, urging them to refrain from traveling to a number of European countries.
The recommendation was made after the ultra-right politician and anti-Islamic provocateur Rasmus Paludan, who has dual Danish-Swedish citizenship, burned the holy book of Muslims in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm on January 21.