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Report: Turkey Detains 4 over Suspected Plot Against German, UK Embassies | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Police secure the area after an explosion in central Istanbul, Turkey January 12, 2016. REUTERS/OsmanOrsal

Turkish authorities have detained four people as part of a probe into a potential threat to the German and British diplomatic missions, state-run media reported on Friday.

The detentions come after the British embassy in the capital Ankara was closed on Friday for what the UK Foreign Office said were security reasons, and after the German embassy said its missions in Turkey were providing “limited services until Friday.”

Three people in the capital Ankara and one person in Istanbul were detained before the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday on Monday, but interior ministry officials said there was no evidence linking the suspects to terrorist organizations, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The investigation was launched by authorities in Ankara after intelligence suggested a possible threat from ISIS to the missions, the agency said.

The British embassy, closed for consular services this week, had been due to reopen on Friday after the Adha holiday began on Monday.

Turkey has suffered a series of suicide bombings and attacks by ISIS and Kurdish militants over the past year. It launched its first major military incursion into Syria last month to push the jihadists away from its border and prevent Kurdish fighters from seizing territory as they retreated.

Foreign missions have closed down on occasion due to security alerts.

Richard Moore, British ambassador to Turkey, said on Twitter that it was a “precaution” to close the embassy.

He added that British officials were “working closely and cooperatively with Turkish authorities.”

The German embassy in Ankara said as well as offering limited services this week, its missions would “remain closed for any meetings,” without giving further details.

Mass-circulation German daily Bild had said that German missions and German schools in Turkey were closed due to fears of an attack.