Turkey closes its cultural center and commercial office in Beirut


Turkey has temporarily closed its cultural center and commercial office in Beirut after the kidnapping of two Turkish Airlines pilots amid the capture of a Lebanese man in connection with the abduction and growing fears of further incidents.

“As a safety measure, the Turkish cultural center and commercial office in Beirut have suspended their activities,” Ambassador İnan Özyıldız said, adding that Turkish Airlines’ offices have been operating from Beirut International Airport instead of from their downtown Beirut facility, Hürriyet Daily News reports. 

Two Turkish institutions in Beirut were closed down three days after the abduction of Turkish pilots by a Lebanese Shiite group, which calls itself "Zuwarah al-Imam al-Rida." The statement of the group says that "the two Turkish pilots will be our guests for as long as there will not be freed abducted in Syria in May 2012, our brothers, the fate of which is the direct responsibility of Turkey."

Adapted from Vestnik Kavkaza

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