Turkey slams Western countries for security warnings ‘harming’ tourism

People walk on the Metro Bridge in Istanbul on January 24, 2023. (OZAN KOSE/AFP)
People walk on the Metro Bridge in Istanbul on January 24, 2023. (OZAN KOSE/AFP)

Turkey slams 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.

Germany, the Netherlands and Britain were among countries that shut down their consulates in the city of around 16 million people this week. The German Embassy cited the risk of possible retaliatory attacks following Quran-burning incidents in some European countries. The United States and other countries issued travel warnings urging citizens to exercise vigilance.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu says the consulate closures and travel warnings are part of a Western plot to prevent a rebound in Turkey’s tourism sector following the coronavirus pandemic.

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