U.S. Suspends Citizen Services in Turkey on Security Alert

The U.S. said it’s temporarily suspending all American citizen and visa services at its missions in Turkey after receiving credible reports of terrorist attacks and kidnappings.

The information concerns threats to “U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in Istanbul, including against the U.S. Consulate General, as well as potentially other locations in Turkey,” the embassy in Turkey’s capital Ankara said in a security alert on its website.

The report advised U.S. citizens to exercise heightened caution in locations where Americans or foreigners may gather, including large office buildings or shopping malls. The U.K. government also repeated the U.S. embassy’s warning in a travel advisory.

Turkey has enjoyed a period of calm after a series of terrorist attacks in past years from groups including Islamic militants and Kurdish separatists.

Shots were fired at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara in 2018, with no casualties. In 2016, a series of security warnings from the U.S. mission set off a diplomatic dispute as Turkish tourism suffered. Ankara responded with a warning against travel to the U.S., citing the risk of being caught up in riots, police violence or xenophobic attacks.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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