Turkey Issues Travel Warning to U.S. Over Fears of Violence as anti-Trump Protests Continue

Thousands take to the street in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles after shooting at a Portland demonstration.

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New York police officers block demonstrators during a protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in front of Trump Tower on November 12, 2016 in New York.
New York police officers block demonstrators during a protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in front of Trump Tower on November 12, 2016 in New York.Credit: Kena Betancur, AFP

Turkey warned its citizens about travel to the United States on Saturday in response to what the foreign ministry called increasingly violent protests against President-elect Donald Trump. 

"Within the context of risks caused by the incidents and of social tension, our citizens who live in the U.S., or who are considering travelling there, should be cautious," the ministry said in a statement. 

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

There has been growing tension between the two NATO allies after repeated calls from Turkey to extradite U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara blames for a failed coup in July. 

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Wednesday he hoped for an improvement in bilateral ties after Trump's victory, and again called for Gulen's extradition. 

Protests continue

Demonstrators marched again on Saturday in cities across the United States to protest against Trump a day after a protester was shot and wounded in Portland, Oregon. 

The demonstrations so far have been largely peaceful, although in Portland protesters smashed store windows, sprayed graffiti and damaged cars as they clashed with police who used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds. 

Police said Saturday they had detained four people in connection with the Portland shooting. A news release said police believe the four are gang members.

The man who was shot early Saturday while participating in a march is recovering and is expected to survive. Police say a shooter was in a vehicle on a bridge that spans the Willamette River and that there was a confrontation with someone in the protest march. A man got out of his vehicle and fired multiple shots before fleeing.

Police say 17 people have been arrested in Portland since protests began. Police said Saturday that nine people have been booked into the Multnomah County Jail. Six others were given criminal citations, and two juveniles were released to their parents.

Since Trump's election Tuesday, thousands around the country, spurred by fear and outrage, have taken to the streets in largely non-violent protests.

Rallies were scheduled throughout Saturday in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, where organizers said they hoped to continue the momentum after several nights of demonstrations.

Chanting slogans including "Not my president!" several thousand protesters marched peacefully up New York City's Fifth Avenue past its glitzy store fronts before filling the streets around Trump Tower, the president-elect's skyscraper home. 

"We're horrified the country has elected an incredibly unqualified, misogynist, racist on a platform that was just totally hateful," said Mary Florin-McBride, 62, a retired banker from New York who held a sign reading, "No Fascism in America." 

There were also demonstrations in Chicago and Los Angeles, where several thousand protesters gathered beneath MacArthur Park's palm trees holding placards including "Dump Trump" and "Minorities Matter," before marching toward downtown.

Some of the demonstrators waved American, Mexican and rainbow flags. Holding a "Keep Love Legal" sign, 25-year-old Los Angeles resident Alex Seedman called Trump a fascist. 

"I'm afraid he will repeal marriage equality," said Seedman. "I'm gay and I have a lot of friends who are black and Latino and who are afraid for their lives." 

About 100,000 people had indicated on Facebook that they were planning to attend or were interested in the events in the three cities. Organizers stressed that violence and vandalism would not be tolerated. 

The demonstrations since the election have been impromptu affairs, quickly organized by young Americans with a diverse array of backgrounds and agendas. 

Protesters were at their most numerous and intense in the rallies immediately following the election before getting smaller in scale. Saturday's protests, however, were expected to be bigger due to the weekend. 

As activists look to the next four years with Trump in the White House while his party controls both houses of Congress, some are preparing for what they hope will be the nation's most enduring demonstrations since the Occupy Wall Street movement. 

Trump initially denounced the protests and said they were "incited" by the media, but reversed course on Friday and praised the demonstrators' "passion for our great country."

"We will all come together and be proud!" Trump said on Twitter. 

Many voters were shocked by the result, after opinion polls failed to predict a win for Trump. 

Some 60.3 million people voted for Trump, fewer than the 60.8 million who cast ballots for Clinton. But Trump's strong showing in swing states, including Michigan, meant he triumphed in the Electoral College that ultimately picks the president. 

The president-elect's biggest support base was the broad middle of the country, from the Heartland through the Rust Belt, with voters in states that had long supported Democrats choosing Trump after he promised to end corruption in Washington D.C., and bring back jobs by renegotiating international trade deals.

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