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US temporarily closes consulate in southern Turkey due to security risk

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The US Consulate in the southern Turkish province of Adana will be closed to the public until further notice, the US Embassy in Ankara announced on Wednesday, citing security risks stemming from anti-Israeli demonstrations in the country.

A statement from the embassy said large demonstrations related to events in Israel and Gaza are expected throughout Turkey for the next several weeks.

“Any gathering, even those intended to be peaceful, could escalate and turn violent. Protest activity may result in enhanced police presence, road closures, and traffic disruptions,” said the statement.

The US government personnel in Turkey have also been instructed to minimize movement and avoid travel to the Consulate Adana consular district.

Protests erupted across Turkey due to a strike on a hospital in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza on Tuesday evening that claimed hundreds of lives.

The strike on Al Ahli Arab Hospital in the middle of Gaza City, which health officials there said killed at least 500 people, has provoked outrage and condemnation from Turkey as well as around the world, with protests in the streets of İstanbul, Ankara, Adana and many other cities.

The Palestinian militant group Hamas, which runs the territory, accused Israel of being behind the strike. The Israeli army blamed it on a misfired rocket by Hamas ally the Islamic Jihad, which has described the accusations as “lies.”

The protestors, who took to the streets in Turkey, blamed Israel for the attack. They attacked the Israeli Consulate General in İstanbul and shouted slogans against Israel and the United States, which they accused of backing Israel’s ongoing attacks on Gaza.

In Adana, rocks and Molotov cocktails were thrown at the US Consulate building as a crowd attempted to breach the compound. The crowd shouted slogans for the Islamic Caliphate.

Two police officers were injured during the protest in Adana.

Adana is home to İncirlik Airbase, where airmen from the US Air Force are deployed to defend NATO’s southern flank.

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