Australia to retain diplomats in Turkey

  • 14/03/2016
Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop (AAP)
Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop (AAP)

The Australian government won't be pulling diplomatic staff out of Turkey despite escalating danger from bombing attacks.

Australia's ambassador to Turkey James Larsen was about 20 metres from a car bomb at a busy intersection in Ankara which killed more than 30 people overnight.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says Mr Larsen is "somewhat shaken" but fine and focused on continuing his job.

She ruled out withdrawing staff at Australia's embassy in Turkey.

"No, we would not," she told reporters in Fiji today.

The government constantly reviewed security arrangements for diplomats posted overseas, she said.

Ms Bishop wasn't aware of any Australians injured or killed in the blast and said all embassy staff are unharmed.

"This is a stark reminder of the fact that terrorist attacks can occur at any time and anywhere," she said.

"And that's why Australia is involved in the coalition to defeat terrorism at its source in Syria and Iraq."

The blast on Sunday was the second such attack in Ankara's business centre in less than a month.

Reuters has cited a senior security official saying initial findings suggest the attack was carried out by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) or an affiliated militant group.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Ms Bishop said Australia would be working closely with the Turkish government to ensure Australians travelling to Gallipoli for Anzac Day would be as safe as possible.

"The heightened security will make it very challenging for travellers," she said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade continues to advise travellers to Turkey to maintain a "high degree of caution".

AAP