In a bitter tit-for-tat move, Turkey has issued a warning to its citizens travelling to the US to take precautions against increasing terror acts in the country. Its foreign ministry advised Turks to revise their travel plans as they could even face arbitrary arrests in the US.
“We observe an increasing number of terror plots and acts of violence in the United States,” said a statement from the foreign ministry on Friday, 12 January.
Vehicles could be used for such acts of violence, besides bomb explosions and armed assaults, it said. Listing some recent incidents in the US, the Turkish foreign ministry added that state buildings, city centres, metro stations and schools could be targeted by far-right organisations and racist groups.
Ankara was angered by the US issuing a travel warning to American nationals. Classifying the country under the “increased security risk” category along with nations such as Sudan, Pakistan and Guatemala, the US cited the risk of terrorism and arbitrary detentions in its advisory.
“Terrorist groups continue to plot possible attacks in Turkey. Terrorist organizations explicitly target Western tourists and expatriates,” read a statement released by the US State Department. Following the warning, Ankara summoned US Chargé d’Affairs Philip Kosnett seeking an explanation.
“We have expressed our disturbance with the inaccurate information posted in this travel advice,” a senior Turkish official told the local Hurriyet Daily News.