December 19, 2018

Turkish citizens warned against travel to US

13 January 2018, 03:08 | Devin Moran

Turkish citizens warned against travel to US

Turkey issues travel warning for citizens visiting US in retaliatory move

In a travel-warning statement, the Turkish ministry also cited an increase in terror attacks and violent incidents in the USA recently.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has reportedly told citizens that they could possibly face arbitrary arrests in the US.

"Attacks by vehicles being driven on crowds, in addition to bomb and gun attacks, are likely to continue to target city centers, cultural events, subway stations, state buildings, places of worship and school campuses", the statement continued.

The warning from Turkish officials comes shortly after U.S. officials issued a similar statement regarding travel to Turkey.

The ministry mentioned recent incidents including attacks at Ohio University's campus, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport, Dar Al-Farooq Mosque in Minnesota and a church in Texas.

The move follows a US State Department advisory on Wednesday which urged Americans to reconsider visiting Turkey due to security concerns. Turkey was placed on Level 3 - or the "reconsider travel" - category.

Speaking to reporters after Friday prayers, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said the reciprocal travel warnings did not help the strained ties between Ankara and Washington.

"The "Turkey is not a safe country" statement does not benefit ties between the two countries", Yildirim said. The relations between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies United States of America and Turkey are now very tense.

Ties between Washington and Ankara, the biggest Muslim country in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and a major USA ally in the Middle East, have been strained by a number of disputes in recent months, including the US arrest and conviction of a Turkish banker in an Iran sanctions-busting case.

Ankara has said that the case against the banker was based on false evidence and supported by the network of the cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom it blames for orchestrating a failed coup in 2016.

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