Nationalist leader fumes at US for security warnings on Turkey
AA PhotoTurkey’s nationalist opposition leader has severely rebuked the United States and in particular the U.S. embassy in Ankara for “escalating fears” by releasing security warnings after terrorist attacks in Turkey, while questioning the warnings’ timing.
“While Turkey is fighting terrorism, the U.S. confusing minds, blurring brains and escalating fears through its embassy will not be considered as innocent and ordinary. The U.S. embassy’s warning its citizens not to travel to our 19 provinces, by listing their names one by one, will not be assumed as legitimate and friendly in any way,” Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said in a written statement released on April 3.
As of April 1, the U.S. embassy in Ankara posted a travel restriction on its website over security concerns in several cities, including İzmir and Muğla by the Aegean Sea, along with others in the east and southeast.
“The U.S. Embassy in Ankara reminds U.S. citizens that due to the security situation in southeast Turkey, U.S. government personnel in Turkey remain subject to travel restrictions in the following provinces: Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Şırnak, Diyarbakır Van, Siirt, Muş, Mardin, Batman, Bingol, Tunceli, Hakkari, Bitlis, Elazığ, Adana, İzmir, and Muğla. U.S. citizens are also reminded to avoid areas in close proximity to the Syrian border,” the embassy said in its message “Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Security Posture.”
In mid-March, the embassy warned its citizens over upcoming Nevruz celebrations in the country, marked on March 21, citing increasing terrorist attacks and threats in Turkey, while also updating its travel warning.
“It is suspicious and rather noteworthy that this country has assumed a hostile manner against Turkey and given red alarm over terrorism while President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan has been in the U.S.,” Bahçeli said, referring to Erdoğan’s visit to Washington on March 29 to attend the Nuclear Security Summit.
“Moreover, terrorist attacks that take place either before or after each U.S. visit of Erdoğan constitute an indication of presence of disgusting plans and hostile intentions,” Bahçeli added.
“The Turkish nation sees and knows those countries with bad intentions and dark goals, [those] which use terrorism as a tool and make plans against Turkey. But no power will be able to get our precious nation to bow and will not witness it giving up,” he said.