US embassy in Turkey warns of ‘terrorist’ menace and kidnappings | Turkey
According to the Mission, credible reports point to possible “terrorist attacks” against US citizens and other foreigners.
The American embassy in Turkey has received credible reports of possible “terrorist attacks and kidnappings” against American citizens and other foreigners in the country.
In a statement posted on its website on Friday, the US embassy in Ankara said the US consulate general in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, was a target and other locations in Turkey were also threatened.
US residents have been advised to exercise increased caution in areas where Americans or foreigners might congregate, including large office buildings or shopping malls.
“The US mission to Turkey has received credible reports of possible terrorist attacks and kidnappings against US citizens and foreigners in Istanbul, including against the US Consulate General and possibly other locations in Turkey,” the embassy said.
It also announced the temporary cessation of all citizen and visa services at its facilities in Turkey, including the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, the Consulate General in Istanbul, the Consulate in southern Adana Province and the US Consular Authority in the western province Izmir.
“People with scheduled appointments will be notified by email with instructions on how to reschedule their appointments,” the embassy said.
US missions in Turkey have been attacked several times in recent years.
On February 1, 2013, a suicide bomber targeted the US embassy in Ankara, killed a security guard and wounded three others in an attack by the right-wing extremist group DHKP-C.
On August 10, 2015, two suspected members of the same group attacked the US consulate general in Istanbul. Nobody was hurt.
Turkey was hit by a series of attacks by multiple groups in 2015 and 2016, including the armed group ISIL (ISIS).
On New Year’s Day 2017, a lone gunman killed 39 people in an attack in an Istanbul nightclub that was later alleged by ISIL. It was part of a series of attacks that killed dozens of people in Istanbul and elsewhere in Turkey.
Since the attack, Turkish authorities have suppressed suspected ISIL members and Kurdish fighters, carried out numerous security operations across the country and arrested hundreds of people.