U.S. Embassy in Turkey closes due to security threat
The U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey closed Monday due to an unspecified security threat, though local media reports the closure came as Turkish authorities detained several suspects on charges of plotting an attack against the embassy. As Politico writes in an article "U.S. Embassy in Turkey closes due to security threat", according to The Anadolu Agency, the country’s state-run media outlet, the suspects are Iraqi nationals and believed to be members of the Islamic State.
Though the relationship between the U.S. and Turkey has recently been tested, Turkey says the embassy's closure isn't political. "The decision to close the American Embassy is not a political one, it was taken on security grounds," Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said at a news conference. "The embassy has shared intelligence with the Turkish intelligence service and security forces."
The Ankara governor’s office said late Sunday it increased its security due to the threat of “terrorist actions” where U.S. citizens are located. “Upon intelligence coming to our units from U.S. sources that terrorist actions could be undertaken targeting the U.S. Embassy and where U.S. citizens are staying, security measures have been reviewed and extra measures have been taken.”
The embassy will only provide emergency services, but will not renew passports, report births abroad, or any other non-emergency services and requests. These requests will not be addressed until the embassy reopens, according to a statement. Visa interviews are also canceled.