Turkey suspends Yemen embassy operations

ANKARA - The Turkish Embassy in Sanaa, the restive capital of Yemen, was closed Monday, according to a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement.

Turkish ambassador to Sanaa, Fazli Corman, returned to Turkey on Monday, saying it had become a "necessity" to leave the country.

Speaking at the airport in Ankara, Corman said the political instability in Yemen had made the situation worse in the country and "serving there (had become) really hard."

The ambassador stressed that the embassy was not closed, but that its mission was "suspended."

The mission suspended its activities after "ensuring necessary security measures for Turkish citizens in Yemen," according to official sources Monday.

The U.S., United Kingdom, France and Italy made similar announcements last week.

Political crisis, instability, mass social protests and conflict across Yemen have caused serious security weaknesses, the ministry statement said.

Fractious Yemen has remained in turmoil since autocratic President Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down in 2012 following a popular uprising against his 33-year rule.

The ambassador also described the situation in Yemen as a "transition process," saying he would like to return to the country "as soon as possible."

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said the embassy would resume its activities when "security, public order, national dialogue and reconciliation based on a legitimate state authority would be once again established in Yemen."

The ministry has reiterated a travel warning for its citizens, first issued Saturday, calling on its citizens to immediately leave the country.

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