U.S. urges to staff at consulate in Turkey to leave amidst increasing extremist attacks

WASHINGTON, U.S. - Following the failure of the attempted military coup, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has come down hard on security forces and the media in the country. The country has ...


• The U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul will not be closed down

• America has warned people against visiting southeastern areas in Turkey

• Media in Turkey has expressed hostility towards the U.S.

WASHINGTON, U.S. - Following the failure of the attempted military coup, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has come down hard on security forces and the media in the country.

The country has launched an aggressive crack down on the rebellion, that the country’s leader believes was instigated by Pennsylvania-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, despite vehement denial from the latter. 

Erdogan has also warned that he is considering reinstating capital punishment.

Alongside the intensified coup crackdown - the country has witnessed a serious increase in the number of attacks carried out by extremists.

Fearing for the lives of U.S. citizens in Turkey, who could be caught up between the increasing diplomatic tensions between both the countries - America has now asked its consulate’s staff members and their relatives to leave Turkey.

The U.S. Department of State put out a second travel warning in a matter of seven days for its citizens living in Turkey - urging them to leave, amidst concerns of “increased threats from terrorist groups” that might be planning on targeting U.S. citizens.

In its statement, the U.S. State Department said that the request for evacuation of U.S. citizens is “based on security information indicating extremist groups are continuing aggressive efforts to attack U.S. citizens in areas of Istanbul where they reside or frequent.”

Merely a week back, U.S. citizens were issued a similar advise by the department to “carefully consider the need to travel to Turkey at this time.”

However, according to the department, the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul will not be closed down and this warning does not apply to any other U.S. diplomatic posts in Turkey.

The country has however strictly warned its citizens in America against visiting the southeastern areas of Turkey.

The statements further added, “Foreign and U.S. tourists have been explicitly targeted by international and indigenous terrorist organisations in Turkey.”

Gripped with the aftermath of the violence from the failed military coup to overthrow President Tayyip Erdogan's government in July, that left about 270 people dead - Turkey continues to remain in a state of emergency.

Army officers, who weren’t even involved in the coup were placed in charge to track down suspects and those who might have influenced the coup.

So far, Turkey has formally arrested more than 37,000 people and has already dismissed 100,000 civil servants, judges, prosecutors, police and others in an unprecedented crackdown. 

Turkish authorities on Sunday also expelled more than 10,000 civil servants and shut down 15 more media outlets over suspected links with U.S.-based cleric, Muhammed Fethullah Gülen. 

Ankara wants the United States to detain and extradite Gulen so that he can be prosecuted in Turkey on charges that he masterminded the attempt to overthrow the government.

U.S., however, seeks proof linking Gülen to the coup.

Apart from the internal coup crackdown - Turkey has also come under attack by Kurdish separatists, even as its neighbour, Syria continues to face a civil war.

Several big and small attacks in Turkey have dominated global headlines for months now, as the country fights Islamic State and Kurdish militants. 

The latest warning has come months after a traumatising attack at Turkey’s Ataturk Airport in June this year, when a triple suicide bombing and a gun attack left 45 people dead and 230 others gravely injured. The attack was blamed on the Islamic State Militant Group (ISIS).

The region came under other attacks soon after, including the bombing at a wedding party near Gaziantep city in August that left 50 people killed. Some of the recent attacks have been blamed on leftists and Kurdish insurgents, Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Meanwhile, the media in Turkey is also expressing a feeling of hostility towards the U.S. government stating that the authorities have let Gulen stay in Pennsylvania and plot the overthrow of the Erdogan government.

U.S. has let Gulen stay after he pledged his innocence, leaving U.S. officials at loggerheads with Erdogan and Turkey.

 

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