Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Turkey warns its citizens against travelling in US

Turkey warns its citizens against travelling in US

Turkey's Foreign Ministry warned citizens to avoid travel to the US, citing the growing risk of terrorist attacks and other violence - a day after the State Department said the same about Turkey.

Earlier this month, a US jury found a Turkish banker guilty of helping Iran evade USA sanctions in a case which has strained diplomatic relations between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and which Turkey has dismissed as politically motivated.

Separately, Turkey summoned senior U.S. diplomat Philip Kosnett to the foreign affairs in Ankara on Thursday over Washington's support for Syrian Kurdish fighters.

The ministry also warned of alleged "arbitrary arrests" of Turkish citizens, including public servants travelling to the United States for official duty.

"Turkish citizens traveling to the United States may be subjected to arbitrary detentions based on testimonies of unrespected sources", the ministry said in a statement dated Thursday.

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The comments from the Turkish Foreign Ministry come after the U.S. Department of State this week made a similar warning to its citizens, saying Americans planning to visit Turkey should reconsider plans due to "terrorism and arbitrary detentions".

Ties between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have been strained since the failed coup attempt in July 2016, amid the U.S.'s refusal to extradite Fethullah Gulen. Gulen denies any involvement, and US officials say the legal process is still ongoing.

The conviction of Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla over the violation of USA -imposed sanctions against Iran in what Ankara sees as a "politically motivated" case caused the latest spat between the two countries.

Turkey is also angered at US support for Syrian Kurdish militia that it considers to be "terrorists".

The U.S. a year ago temporarily suspended visa services to Turkish citizens following the arrest of a local Turkish employee of the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul.

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