France, Germany and the United States warn their nationals in Turkey, calling on them to show “vigilance”. These countries put forward the risk of attacks in retaliation for anti-Turkish demonstrations in Sweden and Denmark during which copies of the Koran were burned.
“In light of the recent incidents of burning Qurans in Europe, the US Government is warning its citizens of possible terrorist attacks targeting places of worship in retaliation in Turkey,” said the US Embassy in Ankara.
“Avoid crowds and keep a low profile”
“Terrorists could attack without warning and target places of worship frequented by Westerners,” she said. The American representation recommends to remain “vigilant, to avoid crowds and to keep a low profile”.
Simultaneously, the French representation in Ankara sent a similar message by email to its nationals present in the country, referring to the alert from the United States.
“As the risk of a terrorist attack in Turkey remains high, as recalled by the security alert issued by the United States Embassy on January 27, 2023, French people residing or passing through Turkey are called upon to show maximum vigilance, especially in gathering places likely to be frequented by foreign nationals, including places of worship,” she said.
This press release was put online in the evening on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and that of the French Embassy in Ankara. Germany and Italy have also warned their nationals.
Several demonstrations in Sweden and Denmark
Several demonstrations took place last week in Stockholm and on Friday in Copenhagen, during which copies of the Koran, the holy book of Muslims, were burned by an extremist who claimed to be protesting against Turkey’s veto at the entrance to the Sweden in NATO.
Ankara has been blocking since May the enlargement of the Atlantic Alliance to this country, as well as to Finland, demanding that Stockholm extradite Kurdish refugees whom it considers to be “terrorists”.
These incidents have been denounced and condemned by the governments concerned and by Western capitals, notably Washington.
But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that Sweden can no longer count on Turkey’s “support” to join NATO and negotiations are officially suspended.