The decision to recall the consul general was reportedly taken at a security meeting held at the Foreign Ministry on Thursday. A Foreign Ministry official said Consul General Adnan Keçeci crossed into Turkey on Monday morning and would hold consultations on the situation in Syria, without elaborating on whether he would return.
The move follows a counteroffensive which Syria's government forces had launched after a bomb attack killed members of the country's ruling elite, including President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law and his defense minister, last week, an event Assad's foes called a sign that the end of his grip on power was imminent. The unprecedented blow to the ruling dynasty could mark a turning point in the Syrian crisis.
On Monday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan chaired a security meeting on Syria in Ankara. The talks were attended by Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz and Hakan Fidan, the undersecretary of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT).
Turkey withdrew its ambassador to Syria on March 26 in protest of the regime's failure to respond to international calls to remove its troops from urban areas and beleaguered cities. Syria has been mired in bloody conflict for over a year as security forces seek to crush a revolt against Assad's rule.
Most of the consular staff had earlier returned to Turkey but Consul General Keçeci remained on duty and the mission had remained open with the minimum number of personnel needed to handle consular duties.