Dutch flag (Photo: Dutchgamer/Wikimedia Commons) - Credit: Dutch flag (Photo: Dutchgamer/Wikimedia Commons)
Terrorist threat forces closure of Dutch consulate in Istanbul
Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs decided to temporarily close and vacate the Dutch consulate in Istanbul due to a possible terrorist threat. He could not comment on the nature of the threat or where the information came from due to "obvious reasons". Dutch are advised to avoid the immediate vicinity of the consulate and keep themselves updated on developments via this site. "The safety of my staff and visitors to our chancelleries have the highest priority", Koenders said. About 40 staff members left the consulate and are now performing their tasks from other locations, as much as is possible. The Turkish city was the location of attacks in which five people were killed on Saturday. 36 people were wounded, many of them foreigners. Over the past weeks other Turkish cities, including capital Ankara, also faced terrorist attacks or threats. Several of the attacks were claimed by ISIS, according to NU. The temporary closure of the consulate general in Istanbul happens just ahead of an ambassadors conference scheduled to happen next week. On March 29th and 30th Dutch ambassadors, consuls general and permanent representatives at international institutions will gather in the Hague for the annual conference.