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Swiss diplomat summoned over Turkey embassy closure

Demonstrators outside the Swedish embassy in Ankara
The burning of the Koran in Sweden provoked demonstrations outside the Swedish embassy in Ankara, but some countries fear further retaliation. Ap

The Swiss ambassador to Ankara was among nine diplomats summoned by Turkey to explain why a number of embassies were closed in the face of an assumed terror threat.

Switzerland was among several western European countries that suspended embassy operations on Thursday following “tangible information about an imminent terrorist attack”.

The concerns were in response to protests that erupted in several countries after a far-right politician from Sweden set the Koran on fire in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.

Turkey’s interior minister Süleyman Soylu reacted to the embassy closures by accusing western countries of trying to destablise Turkey and meddle in its elections that will take place this year.

The backdrop to heightened tensions between Turkey and western Europe is a Turkish objection to Sweden joining NATO.

No further details have been given about the nature of the terrorist threat that caused countries, including Switzerland, Britain and Germany, to shut the doors to their consulates.

The Swiss foreign ministry confirmed to the news agency keystone-SDA that its ambassador had been summoned by the Turkish authorities.

The ministry said it is monitoring the situation closely but did not say when the embassy would re-open.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR