Germany, UK and the Netherlands close their consulates in Istanbul for security reasons

Germany, UK and the Netherlands close their consulates in Istanbul for security reasons
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Germany and the United Kingdom have followed the Netherlands in closing their diplomatic missions in Istanbul due to threats related to Koran-burning protests in several European capitals

The German and British consulates in Istanbul were closed on Tuesday after the Netherlands also did so on Monday following threats against Westerners in connection with recent Koran-burning protests in European cities.

"The German Consulate General remains closed today, Feb. 1, for security reasons," the consulate wrote on its Instagram page. Appointments for visas and passports were also cancelled.

Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office updated its travel advice for Turkey with a terror warning. "There is a possibility that citizens from Western countries may be targeted or involved in attacks, particularly in major cities," the Foreign Office wrote on its travel advice page.

It referred to the increased risk of terrorist attacks against churches, synagogues, embassies/consulates and other places visited by Western citizens in Istanbul. "The British Consulate General in Istanbul is currently closed to the public as a precautionary measure," it added.

The U.S. Embassy also warned its nationals of increased risks in "places frequently visited by Westerners, particularly in the Beyoglu, Galata, Taksim, and Istiklal neighbourhoods [in Istanbul]."

Turkey's Interior Ministry said on Sunday that security measures had been raised to the highest level "following the ominous actions against our holy book, the Koran, in Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark."

The ministry added that it was evaluating information from the countries, which had updated their travel advisories.

Danish, Swedish and Dutch far-right groups recently burned copies of the Koran to protest Turkey's decision to block Sweden's and Finland's NATO membership bids.

Turkey accused the governments of allowing such actions and warned its citizens of "possible Islamophobic, xenophobic and racist attacks" in the U.S. and Europe.