Jan 12 2018

Turkey issues tit-for-tat statement after U.S. travel warning

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has issued a travel warning to its citizens saying there had been an increase in terrorism and arbitrary arrests in the United States after the State Department put Turkey into a travel risk category with Pakistan and Sudan.

Following Turkey’s demotion to category three, the lowest security category for countries that do not have an active civil war, the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. acting chief of mission to give an explanation for the decision.

Later, the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued its own warning, telling Turks to reconsider travel to the United States and “take precautions” if they did visit.

“There has been an increase in terror attacks and violent incidents in the United States in recent times,” it said. ”There have been examples of terrorism and/or far-right/racist actions in the U.S. including attacks on the Ohio University Campus, at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport, at Dar Al-Farooq Mosque in Minnesota, and at a church in Texas, attacks where cars aimed at driving into crowds in Charlottesville and New York, and finally the bomb attack on the New York metro.”

Plus, it said “Turkish citizens were exposed to arbitrary arrests based on the testimony of unreliable sources” in the United States, a likely reference to the Turkish government’s position on the recent sanctions case against Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla.

U.S. travel advice to Turkey said U.S. citizens should “reconsider travel to Turkey due to terrorism and arbitrary detentions.”

Under the current State of Emergency, security forces have detained individuals suspected of affiliation with alleged terrorist organisations based on scant or secret evidence and grounds that appear to be politically motivated. U.S. citizens have also been subject to travel bans that prevent them from departing Turkey. Participation in gatherings, protests, and demonstrations not explicitly approved by the Government of Turkey can result in arrest. The Government of Turkey has detained and deported U.S. citizens without allowing access to lawyers or family members, and has not routinely granted consular access to detained U.S. citizens who also possess Turkish citizenship.

In addition, the advisory warned travellers not to travel to Turkey’s southeast or along its border with Syria.

http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/abdyle-bu-kez-seyahat-krizi-40707320