French school in İstanbul closes for 2 days due to risk of terrorist attacks in the city

A French international school in Istanbul has announced that it will be closed on Thursday and Friday due to security measures, the Kronos news website reported.

In a written statement sent to parents, the Lycée Français Pierre Loti said the school in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul would be temporarily closed on February 2 and 3 in line with decisions made by diplomatic missions in the city.

The development came after several consulates in İstanbul were also closed temporarily as a precaution.

Embassies in Ankara, including those of Germany, France and Italy, last week issued security alerts over possible retaliatory attacks against places of worship, following separate incidents in which the Muslim holy book was burned in Sweden, Netherlands and Denmark.

The US embassy in Turkey also warned Americans earlier this week of possible attacks against churches, synagogues and diplomatic missions in İstanbul, marking its second such notice in four days.

The embassy said “possible imminent retaliatory attacks by terrorists” could take place in areas frequented by Westerners, especially the city’s Beyoğlu, Galata, Taksim and İstiklal neighborhoods.

Rasmus Paludan, a politician from Sweden’s far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party,  burned a copy of the Quran outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm on January 21.

The following day a Quran was torn up by the leader of the right-wing, anti-Islamist Pegida group at a small demonstration in The Hague.

Several protests have taken place across Turkey since the Quran burning in Stockholm.

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