Iran bans teams joining sporting events in Turkey out of security concerns

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Taha Akgül of Turkey (red) celebrates his victory over Komeil Nemat Ghasemi (blue) of Iran compete after the men's 125kg freestyle final match of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 2 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 20, 2016.

The Iranian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has asked all sports federations in the country not to send any teams or athletes to Turkey until further notice.

The ban has been imposed due to the “current situation in Turkey and out of security concerns,” according to a statement made by the Iranian Embassy in Ankara to the official IRNA news agency.

Following the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey on Monday evening, the Iranian Foreign Ministry also issued a warning on Tuesday urging its citizens to avoid unnecessary trips to Turkey.

Iran also announced that the country’s consulates in the three Turkish cities of İstanbul, Trabzon and Erzurum would be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 20, and requested that Iranian nationals avoid visiting these locations. The consulates remained closed on Dec.21 as well.

On Monday evening the entire world was shocked by the killing of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov by a 22-year-old Turkish off-duty police officer named Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, at the opening of the “Russia through Turks’ Eyes” photo exhibition in Ankara.

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