US Embassy issues security notice on threats against Western businesses in Turkey’s Gaziantep
A police officer secures the scene of an explosion where a suspected suicide bomber targeted a wedding celebration in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, Turkey, August 21, 2016. REUTERS photoThe U.S. Embassy in Ankara has issued a security notice for its citizens upon a report of an investigation into a terror cell in the southeastern province of Gaziantep near the Syrian border, which was the scene of a deadly Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attack last month, warning about a potential terror attack targeting Western businesses in the province.
“There are reports of a police investigation into a terror cell in Gaziantep. The information suggests the terrorists are possibly targeting shopping centers, Starbucks, Big Chef Restaurants and or other businesses catering to Western customers. U.S. citizens in Gaziantep are advised to exercise caution when patronizing these sorts of businesses and to avoid them if possible,” the embassy said in a statement.
It added the U.S. Department of State was continuing to monitor recent incidents by terror groups in the country as well as the effects of the state of emergency declared after the failed coup attempt of July 15.
The embassy also urged U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and cautious about local events and take steps to improve their personal security, reminding that extremists throughout Europe targeted large sporting events, restaurants, cafes, theatres, open markets, aviation services, transportation systems and other public venues where people congregate, as well as religious sites and high-profile events.
A total of 56 people, most of whom were children, were killed on Aug. 20 in an ISIL attack which targeted a street wedding in the province. Four days after the attack, the Turkish military launched a military operation into northern Syria to clear its borders of ISIL and other terrorist elements.