Turkish Embassy in Tallinn under additional surveillance by police

The Turkish Embassy on Narva maantee.
The Turkish Embassy on Narva maantee. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Turkish Embassy in Tallinn has an increased police presence in connection with the armed conflict in Syria, which the embassy says is a preventive measure.

On Thursday evening and Friday morning, police officers were seen near the embassy building. ERR asked the Turkish Embassy if the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs had requested to increase the security of all embassies or whether the police were patrolling in relation to a specific incident.

"This is a preventive measure," a Turkish embassy spokesman told ERR on Friday.

In such cases, the police will arrange surveillance, provided that the foreign mission has submitted a note through the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Police and Border Protection Service (PPA) confirmed that the Turkish side has, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, requested that the Turkish Embassy be reinforced.

"Police are monitoring the embassies on a daily basis, we are now monitoring more closely for this reason. The PPA has assessed the potential threats to the embassy and the people working there, and at the moment, this risk assessment remains low," said PPA spokeswoman Marie Aava.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Oct. 9 that Turkey had begun a military operation in northeast Syria. According to Ankara, the target of the operation is Syrian Kurdish units, which are regarded by Turkey as terrorists, and the purpose of the military intervention is to create a Turkish-controlled area on the Syrian side to resettle Syrian refugees on Turkish territory.

To date, Turkey has agreed to a ceasefire in Syria so that Kurdish forces can withdraw. US Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that all military operations will be suspended for 120 hours, or five days, and that the US will help organize the withdrawal of Kurdish troops from what has been called a security zone by Turkey.

But observers said on Friday that clashes between Turkish and Kurdish forces broke out in the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain despite a ceasefire announcement.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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