Turkish nationalists direct anti-Russia ire at wrong consulate

A protestor stands outside a building in Istanbul, Turkey. (File photo: Reuters)

Dozens of Turkish nationalists staged an angry protest in Istanbul against Russia’s air campaign in Syria in Istanbul, chanting anti-Moscow slogans and throwing eggs in fury.

The only problem was, they had picked the wrong consulate for their demonstration late Friday, and were directing their ire at the Netherlands mission, reports said.

Images showed the nationalists lambasting Russia’s reported bombardment of ethnic Turkmen villages in Syria outside the gates of the Dutch consulate in Istanbul’s Beyoglu district.

Had they continued a few steps down Istanbul’s central Istiklal Street they would have found the true target of their anger -- the Russian consulate.

“Often angry Turkish demonstrators mistake us for our close neighbours,” tweeted the Dutch consul general Robert Schuddeboom. “Like tonight, throwing eggs.”

This is far from the first time that Turkish nationalists have let their anger obscure their common sense.

In July nationalists protesting China’s treatment of its Turkic Uighur minority set upon a group of Korean tourists, thinking they were Chinese.

Several foreign missions, including Russia, Sweden and the Netherlands, have their Istanbul consulates directly on Istiklal Street, a legacy of early diplomatic ties with the Ottoman Empire where Beyoglu was considered the European quarter of the city.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47