Published: Tue, March 06, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

US Embassy in Turkey shut for unspecified security threat

US Embassy in Turkey shut for unspecified security threat

The US embassy said on its web page late on Sunday that the mission would be closed due to a security threat and urged US citizens to avoid the embassy as well as large crowds.

Starting March 5, the Embassy will provide "only emergency services", the Monday announcement said. Two of them were detained on a bus at a security check on a highway linking the Black Sea city of Samsun to Ankara.

Those detained in Ankara were among 20 people prosecutors had issued arrest warrants for earlier, Turkish public news agency Anadolu reported, as the security forces were seeking remaining suspects.

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Police reportedly confiscated digital material after raiding the houses of the terrorists.

An embassy statement warned US citizens in the country to avoid large crowds and asked them to avoid the embassy area.

On March 5, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said US consulates in Turkey were "operating as normal". But the attacker only killed himself. Moreover, 12,538 suspects, including 5,654 foreigners, were detained between 2011 and 2018 for links to Daesh.

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An American diplomatic facility in Turkey was last attacked in 2015 when two militants of a far-left Turkish group shot at the U.S. consulate in Istanbul. Turkey shares a lengthy border with war-torn Syria and struggles to keep itself safe from infiltration despite a giant border wall that is now under construction. Close to 2,000 of them were "foreign terrorist fighters", the minister said.

Turkey has stopped thousands trying to enter Syria to join the group over the past few years.

Europe and the United States have been concerned that with the collapse of IS in Iraq and Syria, militants flee over the border to Turkey, hiding among civilians. Turkey has also been the victim of numerous ISIS and PKK attacks in recent years that have killed hundreds. The last large-scale Daesh attack was in Istanbul on January 1, 2017.

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