Four consulates get suspicious packages in Turkey

A member of the Turkey's disaster management agency (AFAD) disinfects the garden of German Consulate in Istanbul October 24, 2014.

A member of the Turkey’s disaster management agency (AFAD) disinfects the garden of German Consulate in Istanbul October 24, 2014.

Turkish authorities say the consulates of Canada, Belgium and Germany in Istanbul have been evacuated after receiving suspicious packages Friday.

The U.S. consulate in Istanbul also received an envelope of suspicious yellow powder on Friday, but the building was not evacuated, said U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki in Washington.

Dogan Eskinat, a spokesman for Turkey’s emergence management agency, AFAD, said that seven people from the Canadian consulate have been hospitalized as a precaution after one of them opened a package and was exposed to a yellow powder.

Dogan said that as part of standard procedures, Turkish authorities have sent samples for testing.

Claude Rochon, spokeswoman at Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, said: “All staff at the Canadian mission are safe and accounted for.”

The German Foreign Ministry said that the German consulate in Istanbul received a “suspicious object,” that the staff members are safe and the Turkish authorities were notified. A ministry spokeswoman declined to elaborate.

Regarding the U.S. consulate, Psaki told reporters, “The envelope was handled in accordance with established protocols, and appropriate U.S. and Turkish authorities are investigating. The consulate is otherwise operating normally.”

 
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