'Increased Terror Threat': U.S. Orders Diplomats' Families to Leave Turkey

U.S. State Department cites 'security information' detailing the continued efforts to harm U.S. civilians in updated travel warning.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
A presidential security guard stands as Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters on Republic Day in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016.
A presidential security guard stands as Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters on Republic Day in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016.Credit: Burhan Ozbilici, AP

The U.S. State Department updated its travel warning on Turkey on Saturday, ordering family members of consulate employees in Istanbul to leave the country, citing threats against U.S. citizens.

"The Department of State made this decision 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," the department said in a statement.

The State Department said the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul remains open and said the order does not apply to any other U.S. diplomatic posts in Turkey.

Saturday's warning updates previous State Department advisories of "increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey." The department advises U.S. citizens to avoid travel to southeast Turkey and also advises caution on the risks of traveling anywhere in the country.

Turkey's southeast has been in turmoil for the past several months as renewed conflict with the local Kurdish population has killed dozens of military and police service members in bombings and other attacks.

ISIS has also been responsible for a number of attacks in Turkey, having infiltrated the country via the southern border with Syria.

In an attempt to stabilize the region, Turkey launched a military incursion into northern Syria in August that the government said was focused on driving back Islamic State forces as local militias began to strategically surround their de facto capital on Raqqa.

Syria's Kurds however, along with their American military backers, saw the Turkish move, at least in part, as a move to limit Kurdish gains against ISIS. Turkey views several ethnic Kurdish militias as terrorist groups and government policies have remained consistent in trying to limit their growth and influence.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott