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Mosul’s Turkish consulate to reopen soon: official

Turkey’s consulate in Mosul will be up and running in the near future after six years of closure, its consul said on Saturday.

“Work to reopen the consulate continues…the work has reached the very last stage,” Mehmet Kucuksakalli told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.

Kucuksakalli blamed the coronavirus pandemic for delay in reopening their diplomatic mission in the city.

“We have rented a building for our consulate. We prepared a security plan and carried out some renovation work,” the consul said.

The Turkish consulate in Mosul has been closed since June 2014, when consul Ozturk Yilmaz and 45 other local and Turkish personnel were abducted from the building by Islamic State (ISIS) militants. Though the abductees were later released, the consulate has remained closed – despite several promises by Turkish officials to reopen it. Mosul residents had instead depended on Turkey’s visa office in the nearby city of Erbil.

The building was destroyed in a coalition airstrike in early April 2016, during the fight against  ISIS, who controlled the city at the time.

In July Turkey announced the opening of an office in the city to process visas. Work to process visas in the city began on September 13, the Turkish embassy in Baghdad announced.

Travel between Iraq and Turkey is currently limited due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Turkey currently has an embassy in Baghdad and a consulate in Erbil. Source