First Published: 2018-01-12

Turkey, US issue tit-for-tat travel warnings
Turkey moves to issue travel warning matching US State Department advisory urging Americans to reconsider visiting Turkey due to security concerns.
Middle East Online

Two countries have fallen out over US's refusal to extradite Fethullah Gulen.

ANKARA - Turkey on Friday issued a travel warning urging its citizens to reconsider their travel plans to the United States, citing the risk of terror attacks and arbitrary detentions.

The move follows a US State Department advisory on Wednesday which urged Americans to reconsider visiting Turkey due to security concerns.

A statement by the Turkish foreign ministry -- using almost identical language to the original US advisory -- warns of an increase in terrorism and "risk of arbitry detention" in America.

Relations between the two NATO allies have become increasingly strained over a number of issues, including Turkey's detention of two Turkish employees of US diplomatic missions in the country.

Washington suspended visa services for Turkish citizens after Istanbul consulate staffer Metin Topuz was arrested in October over suspected links to a cleric blamed for Turkey's 2016 failed coup.

In a tit-for-tat move at the time, Turkey responded by suspending visa services.

That crisis was resolved in December when the US said it had won assurances from Ankara that no further legal proceedings would be launched against its staff, though Turkey insisted it had given no assurances.

Meanwhile, Turkey has since March 2017 been holding Hamza Ulucay, a veteran translator from the US consulate in Adana, on charges of links to Kurdish militants.

The two countries have also fallen out over the US's refusal to extradite US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey holds responsible for the 2016 coup attempt, and US military support for Kurdish rebels in Syria which Ankara considers a terrorist group.

The recent US State Department travel advisory listed a rigorous "Level 3" warning for Turkey, saying "some areas have increased risk".

It singled out areas along the Turkish-Syrian border and area where the Turkish army is fighting Kurdish militants, warning that US citizens could be accused of being linked to terror groups with "scant or secret evidence and grounds that appear to be politically motivated".

In return, the Turkish foreign ministry said Turkish public sector employees in the US had been detained on "baseless allegations."

Ankara reacted furiously to last week's conviction in New York of Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla on charges of violating sanctions against Iran.

Meanwhile several bodyguards of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have been indicted in absentia over a fracas during his visit to the US last year.

 

UN Security Council lenient to Turkey’s Syria offensive

Washington probes Hezbollah ‘narcoterrorism’

Tillerson to present US strategy on Syria to European, Arab allies

Russia pension funds may invest in Aramco IPO

Iranian woman skydiver looks to break down stereotypes

Turkish army clashes with Kurdish militia amid US alarm

Turkey arrests dozens accused of ‘terror propaganda’

Three French female jihadists face possible death penalty in Iraq

Women journalists protest separation during Pence visit to Jerusalem

Egypt military accuses presidential hopeful of committing crimes

Israeli minister calls to ban author praising Palestinian teen

Qatar supports Turkey’s offensive against Kurds

World powers meet on Syria chemical attacks

Morocco's king appoints five new ministers

Pence pledges US embassy move by end of 2019 on Jerusalem trip

Russia calls for diplomatic solution to Yemen conflict

Russia invites Kurds to join Syria peace process

Turkey shells Kurdish targets in northern Syria

Closer look at pro-Ankara rebels amassing around Afrin

Pence set for Palestinian snub

Abbas to ask EU to recognise Palestinian state

Saudi-led coalition to give $1.5 bln in Yemen aid

Mattis: Turkey gave US advance warning on Syria operation

Yemen releases budget for first time in three years

Saudi calls for cooperation between OPEC, non-OPEC countries

France presses Turkey to end offensive against Kurds

The changing faces of al-Qaeda in Syria

Kurdish militia fire rockets at Turkish town

Moroccans wary depreciation of dirham could raise cost of living, despite benefits

Deserted streets, terrified civilians after Turkey attacks Afrin

Iraqi, Kurdish leaders hold talks on bitter regional dispute

Russia-led Syria peace congress to be held January 30

Turkey launches new strikes on Kurdish targets in Syria

Egypt's Sisi says will stand for re-election

Pence heads to Mideast despite Muslim, Christian anger

Assad regime says Syria a 'tourist' destination

Journalists arrested while reporting Sudan protests

Aid for millions of Palestinians hostage to politics

Lebanon thwarts holiday attacks using IS informant

Mortar fire wounds 14 in Syria mental hospital

Turkish military fires on Kurdish forces in Syria's Afrin

More than 32,000 Yemenis displaced in intensified fighting

UN warns of "lost generation" in South Sudan's grinding conflict

Saudi's refined oil exports offset crude curbs

US to overtake Saudi as world’s second crude oil producer