Turkey re-issues travel warning on Iraq
ANKARA – Anadolu AgencyIn a statement, the ministry said last December’s advice applied to all of Iraq except the provinces of Dohuk, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah, which are controlled by the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
The ministry said in light of the recent offensive to re-take Mosul, Iraq’s general security situation would deteriorate and cause acts targeting Turkey’s interests in the country.
Turkish nationals were advised to be “vigilant in all circumstances, avoid crowded places, to strengthen security measures and be in contact with the Baghdad Embassy.”
It urged those “whose stay is not compulsory to leave the provinces as soon as possible” and advised against traveling to Iraq “unless it is absolutely necessary.”
The statement advised Turkish nationals in the KRG to stay away from regions where the anti-ISIL operation is ongoing.
The ministry’s call came one day after Turkish Airlines announced Oct. 17 that it had temporarily suspended its flights to Najaf, Suleymaniyah and Basra due to the ongoing military operation.
On Oct. 17, supporters of Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr staged a large demonstration in front of the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad after the cleric called for protests to demand that Turkish troops leave the Bashiqa camp in northern Iraq, which has caused a row between the two countries.