US issues Turkey travel warning, cites ‘increase in anti-American rhetoric’

The US State Department has issued a travel warning to its citizens planning to travel to Turkey saying that “an increase in anti-American rhetoric has the potential to inspire independent actors to carry out acts of violence against U.S. citizens.”

“Carefully consider the need to travel to Turkey at this time, and avoid travel to southeast Turkey due to the persistent threat of terrorism,” the warning began.

“In 2016, numerous terrorist attacks involving shootings, suicide bombings, and vehicle-borne bombings in tourist areas, public spaces, private celebrations, sporting events, and government, police, and military facilities throughout Turkey resulted in hundreds of deaths.  The most recent attacks include a mass shooting at the Istanbul Reina nightclub on January 1, 2017, and simultaneous suicide bombings near Istanbul’s Besiktas/Vodafone Soccer Stadium on December 10, 2016.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hit out at the US on several occasions on discrepancies in both countries’ Syria policy, with Erdogan angry at US support for Kurdish forces in Syria. Government ministers have also suggested in recent public meetings that the US and EU are ‘waging a war’ against the Turkish government. Recent polls have shown a hike in anti-American sentiment among the people of Turkey.