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US Issues Travel Warning for Citizens Visiting Turkey Over Terrorism, Arbitrary Detention

The U.S. State Department issued a travel warning for its citizens who are either currently in Turkey or plan to visit the country against potential attacks by terrorists and arbitrary detentions. It specifically urged its citizens to stay away from certain places in southeastern Turkey.

In a new travel advisory issued by the department, the U.S. called on its citizens “not to travel to areas along the Turkey-Syria border and the southeastern provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Sirnak, Diyarbakir, Van, Siirt, Mus, Mardin, Batman, Bingol, Tunceli, Hakkari, and Bitlis due to terrorism.”

The advisory noted that “terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Turkey.”

But the notice also warned its citizens against arbitrary detention. It stated that under the State of Emergency, security forces have detained tens of thousands of individuals, including U.S. citizens, suspected of affiliation with alleged terrorist organizations based on scant or secret evidence and grounds that appear to be politically motivated.”

“U.S. citizens have also been subject to travel bans that prevent them from departing Turkey,” it added.

The ongoing imprisonment of Pastor Andrew Brunson has been a major source of tension between the U.S. and Turkey.

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