On Monday, Aug. 10, 2015, the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey announced its closure to the public following a security incident involving two gunmen that morning. The consulate was closed at the time of the attack and no consulate employees were injured. The foreign post has since reopened, resuming its regular schedule on Aug. 11, 2015. Applicants should expect visa issuance delays at this U.S. Consulate for the immediate future as additional security measures are expected to slow visa processing.
Two armed female militants opened fire early Monday against the U.S. Consulate. One of the women was injured in the crossfire with Turkish police forces and was later arrested; meanwhile, six members of Turkey’s security forces were killed during the attacks.
The gunmen are believed to have acted in retaliation for the state-backed anti-terror campaign Turkey is engaged in against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Indeed, Turkish authorities have accused Marxist and Kurdish radicals of being responsible for the violence. And the Marxist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) was quick to claim credit for the incident. In fact, this is not the first time the DHKP-C has claimed involvement with an attack involving American actors, similarly taking responsibility for a suicide bomb attack at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara in 2013.
If you have plans to travel to any countries where there is instability or civil unrest, you are strongly urged to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program—a free service to provide up-to-date information and resources for your destination country.