Turkish Media Reports Arrest of U.S. Diplomat, @StateDept Refutes, Turkey Releases Passport


On December 22, Turkey’s Daily Sabah reports that an individual purported to be a U.S. diplomat was arrested in Istanbul:.

“In a written statement from the Istanbul Police Department, it was reported that on Nov. 11, 2021, at around 5 p.m., it was determined that Syrian national R.S., who wanted to go to Germany from Istanbul Airport with a fake passport, tried to go abroad with another person’s passport during the checks at the passport point.

Following an investigation, it was determined that the passport that R.S. used while trying to escape belonged to D.J.K., a diplomat at the U.S. Consulate in Beirut. During the examination of the camera footage, it was noted that the two suspects met in the airport and changed their clothes there and R.S. then received the passport from the American diplomat D.J.K.

In the statement, it was stated that both suspects were taken into custody, and the following information was shared: “During the body search, $10,000 and a diplomatic passport of his own name were found in the envelope from the American citizen D.J.K. Syrian national R.S., who was found trying to exit the country by using fake passports, was one of the persons referred to the judicial authorities. He was released on charges of ‘forgery of official documents.’ The person named D. J. K., an American citizen, was arrested and handed over to prison.”

We should note that there is no U.S. Consulate in Beirut. There is, however, a U.S. Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon.
On December 23, Daily Sabah has a statement from the State Department refuting that the individual arrested is one of its diplomats:

“We are aware of the detention of a U.S. citizen in Turkey. The individual is not a U.S. diplomat. We are providing appropriate consular services,” a State Department official said but gave no further details.

Later on December 23, Hurriyet Daily News published an image of the U.S. passport of the individual arrested as released by Turkish authorities. The name was redacted but the biographic information and the annotation that “The bearer is a member of the family of …. ” are clearly visible:

Turkish authorities have disclosed the passport of a U.S. citizen who was detained and arrested on the charges of “forging official documents” while reportedly trying to help a Syrian national leave Turkey.

On the first page of the passport, it is seen that the U.S. citizen, identified only by initials D.J.K., was born in Syria in 1988 and received his travel document on May 18, 2021, which is valid until May 17, 2026.

Meanwhile, the U.S. officials denied the allegations that D.J.K. was a U.S. diplomat following reports in the Turkish media that he worked for the U.S. Consulate in the Lebanese capital city of Beirut.

If this is a genuine diplomatic passport, it means that the spouse of the individual arrested is accredited to Lebanon. Diplomatic family members do hold diplomatic passports (as well as regular passports) but their diplomatic status is dependent on the principal, that is the employee’s status and assignment. Diplomatic passports of family members normally carry an annotation such as the one indicated on the passport image released by Turkish authorities.
This passport appears to be a diplomatic passport issued on May 18, 2021. In addition to the annotation, this has a 5-year validity with expiration date of May 17, 2026. U.S. diplomatic passports are typically valid for 5 years; regular passports unless limited by the State Department are normally valid for 10 years. Regular passports also typically do not carry annotations like the one shown in this individual’s passport.
Since the principal in this case was not part of the Turkish charges, we will not publish the name here. We should note however, that the principal appears to be a new employee at State with consular appointment submitted for Senate confirmation just this past summer and confirmed recently via voice vote.
We will likely learn more about this case as it goes forward. Or maybe not. After all, this arrest occurred in Istanbul in November 11, and we’re just hearing of this now, five weeks later. So this was a hush-hush matter until it wasn’t. Makes you wonder what happened, yes?


Happy Birthday America! 4th of July Celebrations From Around the World

— Domani Spero
[twitter-follow screen_name=’Diplopundit’ ]


The 2014 July 4th celebrations at our diplomatic missions actually started this past February, with the U.S. Embassy Kathmandu celebration of the 238th Anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America on February 22, 2014. This was followed by  the US Embassy in Oman which hosted its independence day event on March 25, 2014 (see Open Season: This Year’s July 4th Independence Day Celebrations Officially On). Here are the well-timed red, white and blue celebrations that caught our eyes this year.


U.S. Consulate Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

In an unprecedented tribute to U.S. Independence Day, Rio de Janeiro’s iconic the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro was lit with the colors of the American flag on July 3, 2014.  U.S. Consul General to Rio de Janeiro John Creamer and Christ the Redeemer rector Father Omar Raposo  were at the monument for the special lighting, which happens as Brazil hosts approximately 90,000 U.S. tourists for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Pretty cool!



U.S. Embassy Tallin, Estonia

This 4th of July cake was so huge that it needed six people to carry it into the event hosted by Ambassador Jeffrey Levine.  We think that this cake was made by the  Radisson Blu Hotel in Tallinn. We don’t know many many years the hotel has been making this cake for the annual event but just below the photo is the time lapse video showing the making of the 300KG 4th of July cake for Embassy Tallinn a couple of years ago.  Amazing!


Independence Day Celebration, June 26, 2014 Photos by U.S. Embassy Tallinn

Independence Day Celebration, June 26, 2014
Photos by U.S. Embassy Tallinn


U.S. Embassy Nairobi, Kenya


U.S. Embassy Kampala, Uganda


U.S. Embassy Kabul, Afghanistan

Flags of the 50 United States hanging above the Independence Day celebration at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Tuesday,June 24, 2014. (Photo by Musadeq Sadeq/U.S. State Department)

US Embassy Kabul/Flickr


U.S. Embassy Beirut, Lebanon

Ambassador David Hale hosted a celebration on June 17 at BIEL with Lebanese officials, members of Parliament, and Embassy guests in attendance.

Via US Embassy Lebanon/FB

Via US Embassy Lebanon/FB


U.S. Embassy New Delhi, India

U.S. Embassy Canberra, Australia

Embassy Canberra ran a social media Independence Day contest and came up with MasterChef Australia contestants akitchencat
and The Bread & Butter Chef Kylie Ofiu  as winners to join them for the 4th of July bash.  American chef Tory McPhail also arrived in Canberra last week and got the Embassy kitchen prepped and ready to feed over 600 people for the event hosted by Ambassador John Berry.

Photo via US Embassy Canberra/FB

Photo via US Embassy Canberra/FB


U.S. Embassy Wellington, New Zealand

This year’s Independence Day event in Wellington hosted by DCM Marie C. Damour had a#USA culinary theme.  Check out some U.S. recipes at: http://www.discoveramerica.com/usa/culinary-landing.aspx Discover America. And here’s the Kentucky Honey!

Photo via US Embassy New Zealand/Flickr

Photo via US Embassy New Zealand/Flickr


U.S.Consulate General Auckland, New Zealand

U.S. Independence Day Event in Auckland, July 3, 2014.  U.S. Independence Day Event in Auckland, July 3, 2014.

U.S. Independence Day Event in Auckland, July 3, 2014.

U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand


U.S. Embassy Rome, Italy

A Villa Taverna l’Ambasciatore Phillips ha ospitato il ricevimento per il Giorno dell’Indipendenza, per celebrare l’America e l’amicizia con l’Italia, tra musica, hamburgers e, ovviamente… Fireworks!!

U.S. Embassy Seoul, South Korea


Via US Embassy Seoul/FB

Via US Embassy Seoul/FB


U.S. Embassy Quito, Ecuador


U.S. Embassy  Tel Aviv, Israel

We’re excited to have @dominos with us today. Happy 4th, America. #july4tlv pic.twitter.com/HfyN1Wziyw

U.S. Embassy Valleta, Malta

Embassy Malta had Route 66 as its event and menu theme; the celebration includes vintage American cars on display in the compound.


Photo via US Embassy Malta/FB

U.S. Embassy Madrid, Spain

U.S. Consulate General Barcelona, Spain


U.S. Embassy Copenhagen, Denmark

Rydhave, all ready to receive over 1.000 of Embassy Copenhagen’s closest friends and contacts. Entertainment this year was provided by Basim, and the band The Sentimentals. The Embassy’s own Sonia Evans performed the American national anthem.The food at the event was supplied by CP Cooking.


Photo by US Embassy Denmark

Photo by US Embassy Denmark


U.S. Embassy London, United Kingdom


U.S. Embassy Ottawa, Canada



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