State Dept Orders Consulate Families Out of Istanbul
The U.S. State Department has ordered the families of the Consulate General in Istanbul out of Turkey because of increased threats of violence. They continue to issue travel warnings for the entire country.
The State Department warned:
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 Consulate General remains open and fully staffed.
This order applies only to the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, not to other U.S. diplomatic posts in Turkey. The Department continues to monitor the effect of these developments on the overall security situation in the country…
The Governor of Ankara, acting under the authority of the recently-extended state of emergency, and on the basis of reported terrorist threats against cities in Turkey, has banned all demonstrations in Ankara province until November 30. The Department continues to monitor the effects of the ongoing state of emergency; recent terrorist incidents in Ankara, Istanbul, Gaziantep, and throughout the Southeast; recurring threats; visible increases in police or military activities; and the potential for restrictions on movement as they relate to the safety and well-being of U.S. citizens in Turkey. Delays or denial of consular access to U.S. citizens detained or arrested by security forces, some of whom also possess Turkish citizenship, continue.
Foreign and U.S. tourists have been explicitly targeted by international and indigenous terrorist organizations in Turkey. In the past year, extremists have carried out attacks in France, Belgium, Germany, Mali, Bangladesh, Tunisia, and Turkey. Additional attacks in Turkey at major events, tourist sites, restaurants, commercial centers, places of worship, and transportation hubs, including aviation services, metros, buses, bridges, bus terminals and sea transport, could occur. Extremists have also threatened to kidnap and assassinate Westerners and U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens are reminded to review personal security plans, monitor local news for breaking events, and remain vigilant at all times.
Pay attention to the warnings
To put it bluntly, in spite of the order only being for Istanbul, it’s not safe anywhere in Turkey at this point in time. The State Department issued a travel warning on October 24th, but the above statement replaces it.
Back in March, the military ordered family members out of Southeast Turkey, which included military families at Incirlik Air Base. A few months later a coup attempt literally created major security issues for the Americans at the base.