Family of U.S. Consulate Employees in Istanbul, Turkey Ordered to Evacuate

Threatened by extremist attacks, the U.S. Department of State urges U.S. Citizens to avoid travel to Turkey and is ordering the family of employees  posted to the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul,Turkey to leave. This decision was made based on security information that indicated that aggressive efforts are being made to attack U.S. citizens who are in areas of Istanbul.  This order does not apply to other U.S. diplomatic posts throughout Turkey, only to the U.S.  Consulate General in Istanbul which remains open and fully staffed.

The Governor of Ankara, a province which is around 180 miles from Istanbul has banned all demonstration until November 30th officials said. Delays and/or denial of access to the U.S. Consulate by detained or arrested U.S. citizens are also being reported.  Tourists, both U.S. and abroad, have been the target of both international and native terrorist organizations in Turkey. Being that in the past year, these types of attacks have been carried out in France, Belgium, Germany, Mali, Bangladesh, Tunisia, and Turkey, this information is being taken seriously.

Some of these threats include the kidnapping and assassinations of Westerners and U.S. Citizens, the U.S. Department of State officials said. U.S. citizens are reminded to monitor local and breaking news and to remain vigilant at all times. They are also urged to defer travel to largely populated or tourist locations near the Turkish/Syrian border.

Turkish-U.S. relations became strained during the Syrian Civil war and disagreements with the U.S. over the handling of the Kurdish YPG Yekîneyên Parastina Gel‎ (meaning People’s Protection Units), who are the main armed services of the Federation of Northern Syria. All border crossing from Syria to Turkey has been halted, even for those who entered Syria from Turkey. The U.S. Department of State officials said instances of requests to enter for emergency medical treatment or safety from immediate danger will be assessed on a case by case basis.

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