US Consulate General in Istanbul issues security warning over potential attacks
AFP photoThe U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul on Oct. 22 issued a security notice over potential terror attacks targeting citizens and other foreigners living in the city.
“The U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul advises U.S. citizens that extremist groups are continuing aggressive efforts to attack Americans and/or other foreigners in Istanbul. These attacks may be pre-planned or could occur with little or no warning, and include, but are not limited to: armed attack, attempted kidnapping, bombing, or other violent acts,” the statement issued on the consulate website read.
Accordingly, the consulate general advised U.S. citizens residing or visiting Istanbul to review their security practices when traveling to locations where Westerners are known to frequent or reside.
The consulate general also urged citizens to avoid travel to the country’s southeast, particularly near the Syrian border, stay away from large crowds and political gatherings and monitor local media.
The last deadly attack that hit Turkey’s biggest city was on June 28, a triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul’s busy Atatürk Airport, with authorities pointing the finger at the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadist group.
Some 45 people were killed and hundreds were injured in the attack.
In March, another ISIL attack on Istanbul’s busy İstiklal Avenue killed three Israelis, two of whom held dual citizenship with the United States, and one Iranian. A separate attack by the jihadist group in the city’s historic heart in January had also killed 12 German tourists.
Recently, the U.S. embassy also warned of a terror attack targeting Western businesses, including Starbucks, in the border province of Gaziantep.
The warning came after a deadly suicide bombing in the province on Aug. 20 blamed on ISIL, targeting a street wedding, which killed 57 people, including 34 children.