Thursday, April 28, 2016

US, EU visitors to Turkey told to use ‘high degree of caution’

The US government on Tuesday issued an “emergency message” to its citizens residing in Turkey, warning of what it considers significant terrorist threats within the country.

The emailed statement was distributed by the US embassy in Ankara and warned of popular tourist destinations being prime targets for attacks, Reuters reported.

The warning came a day before a suicide bomber blew herself up in the Turkish city of Bursa on Wednesday, wounding 13 people in the latest attack to strike the country, officials said.

  • “The US government continues to receive credible indications that terrorist groups are seeking opportunities to attack popular tourist destinations throughout Turkey,” the statement read.
  • “Foreign tourists in Turkey have been explicitly targeted by terrorist organizations.”

It suggested the threat from terrorism in the country “remains high”.

“We strongly advise against travelling to the border areas between Turkey and Syria in light of the current instability in the region, in particular the provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, and Mardin.

“The Turkish military have operations along the Turkish border with Iraq and you are strongly advised against all travel to the border provinces of Hakkari and Sirnak,” the embassy warned.

“In addition, we would recommend against travel to the Siirt, Tunceli, and Diyarbakir provinces.”

Turkey has already faced five suicide bombings in the first quarter of 2016, including two in the country’s biggest city, Istanbul — the latest about a month ago — and one in its capital, Ankara.
No criticism

Similar statements also came from the European Union, with Germany, France and Ireland warning their citizens of terror threats in Turkey.

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders meanwhile, warned the Netherlands cannot guarantee the safety of citizens travelling to Turkey if they have been critical of Turkish leaders...

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