Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Turkey and the U.S. called each other unsafe countries

Turkey and the U.S. called each other unsafe countries

Turkey has warned its citizens to revise their travel plans to the United States or to exercise caution if they go ahead with a trip, according to the foreign ministry.

A few hours after the announcement of this directive, travel instructions to Turkish citizens planning to visit the USA were issued also by the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

A few days after the resolution of the mutual embargo on visas granted to their citizens, the USA and Turkey again caused a crisis in their relations, this time with the travel instructions they issued. Listing some recent incidents in the U.S., the Turkish foreign ministry added that state buildings, city centres, metro stations and schools could be targeted by far-right organisations and racist groups.

The ministry mentioned recent incidents including attacks at Ohio University's campus, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport, Dar Al-Farooq Mosque in Minnesota and a church in Texas.

The US advisory calls for rethinking travel to Turkey "for terrorism and arbitrary arrests".

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The move came after the USA announced a new travel advisory on Wednesday and named Turkey as a country with an "increased security risk" along with Sudan, Pakistan and Guatemala.

"The "Turkey is not a safe country" statement does not benefit ties between the two countries", he said.

Relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have been strained recently over a number of issues.

Ties between Ankara and Washington, both North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and members of the coalition against Islamic State, have been strained by the U.S. arrest and conviction of a Turkish banker in an Iran sanctions-busting case, a trial Turkey has dismissed as politically motivated. Ankara has said it was based on false evidence and supported by the network of Fethullah Gulen, a US -based Turkish cleric Ankara blames for orchestrating a failed coup in Turkey in 2016.

Turkey also blames Washington for supporting Kurdish fighters in Syria that Ankara sees as allies of a Kurdish group waging an insurgency in Turkey.

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