US updates travel warning to Turkey ahead of State Secretary Tillerson’s visit
AA photoThe U.S. State Department on March 28 issued an update to its travel warning to Turkey, urging its citizens to avoid travel to the southeastern provinces citing the “persistent threat of terrorism,” a day before State Secretary Rex Tillerson’s visit to the country.
“U.S. citizens are warned of increased threats from terrorist groups in Turkey. Carefully consider the need to travel to Turkey at this time, and avoid travel to southeast Turkey due to the persistent threat of terrorism,” the warning said.
The State Department also reminded that it terminated last year’s decision to direct family members of employees posted to the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul to depart the country temporarily while noting the continuation of restrictions on personal and official travel by U.S. government personnel and their family members travelling to and residing in Istanbul.
It also added that restrictions on travel by U.S. government personnel to certain areas in southeast Turkey, including southern province of Adana, remain.
The warning reviewed major terror attacks in the country over the past years and said “an increase in anti-American rhetoric has the potential to inspire independent actors to carry out acts of violence against U.S. citizens.”
It stated that additional attacks could occur at major events, tourist sites, restaurants, nightclubs, commercial centers, places of worship, and transportation hubs.
The travel warning update came one day before Tillerson’s visit with the case of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating the failed 2016 coup, the U.S.-led offensive to retake Raqqa from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and an “interim zone of stability” in Syria based on cease fires are on the agenda.