Turkey summons nine Western ambassadors over security alerts

An an armored police vehicle guards outside the German consulate in Istanbul, Thursday, February 2. Turkey on Thursday slammed a group of Western countries that temporarily closed down their consulates in Istanbul over security concerns, accusing them of waging 'psychological warfare' and attempting to wreck Turkey's tourism industry. [AP]

Turkey summoned ambassadors of nine Western countries including the United States and Sweden on Thursday to criticise their decisions to temporarily shut diplomatic missions and issue security alerts following Koran-burning incidents in Europe.

The envoys of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Britain were also summoned, according to foreign ministry sources in Ankara.

Over the last two weeks, far-right activists burned copies of the Muslim holy book, the Koran, in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, acts that prompted Turkey to halt negotiations meant to lift its objections to Sweden and Finland joining NATO.

The European countries have denounced the incidents but some say they cannot prevent them because of free speech rules.

Over the last week, France, Germany, Italy and the United States were among those issuing...

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