US updates travel warning to Turkey over terror threat
AFP photoThe U.S. Department of State issued an update to its travel warning to Turkey on Oct. 24 over “increased terror threats from terrorist groups” across the country.
“U.S. citizens should still carefully consider the need to travel to Turkey at this time. The Governor of Ankara, acting under the authority of the recently-extended state of emergency, and on the basis of reported terrorist threats against cities in Turkey, has banned all demonstrations in Ankara province until November 30. The Department continues to monitor the effects of the ongoing State of Emergency; recent terrorist incidents in Ankara, Istanbul, Gaziantep, and throughout the Southeast; recurring threats; visible increases in police or military activities; and the potential for restrictions on movement as they relate to the safety and well-being of U.S. citizens in Turkey,” the Department of State said in a statement.
“Delays or denial of consular access to U.S. citizens detained or arrested by security forces, some of whom also possess Turkish citizenship, continue,” it added.
It also said terrorist organizations could stage additional attacks and kidnappings in the country targeting Westerners and U.S. citizens in popular spots.
“U.S. citizens are reminded to review personal security plans, monitor local news for breaking events, and remain vigilant at all times,” the statement urged.
In addition, it noted that U.S. government personnel in Turkey were subjected to travel restrictions in the country’s eastern and southeastern provinces, so the U.S. mission to Turkey may also prohibit movements by its personnel in the region for security reasons.
Earlier, the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul issued a security notice on Oct. 22 over potential terror attacks in the city.
The U.S. Embassy had also warned its citizens of a terror attack targeting Western businesses in the border province of Gaziantep, which was the scene of a suicide attack blamed on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Aug. 20, killing 57 people, 34 of whom were children.