US suspends visa services in Turkey over possible attacks

A man wearing a T-shirt with the Turkish flag stands as people wait for the beginning of Friday prayers outside Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, July 24, 2020. The US embassy in Ankara said that consular services would be suspended at the embassy as well as consulates in Istanbul, the southern city of Adana and the Aegean coastal city of Izmir. — Reuters pic
A man wearing a T-shirt with the Turkish flag stands as people wait for the beginning of Friday prayers outside Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, July 24, 2020. The US embassy in Ankara said that consular services would be suspended at the embassy as well as consulates in Istanbul, the southern city of Adana and the Aegean coastal city of Izmir. — Reuters pic

ISTANBUL, Oct 23 — The US said today it has decided to suspend visa services at its missions in Turkey after it received “credible reports of potential terrorist attacks”.

The embassy in Ankara said in a statement on its website that consular services would be suspended at the embassy as well as consulates in Istanbul, the southern city of Adana and the Aegean coastal city of Izmir.

It said it “has received credible reports of potential terrorist attacks and kidnappings against US citizens and foreign nationals in Istanbul, including against the US consulate general, as well as potentially other locations in Turkey”.

It advised US citizens “to exercise heightened caution in locations where Americans or foreigners may gather, including large office buildings or shopping malls”.

In 2013, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the embassy in Ankara, killing himself and a Turkish security guard. A far-left radical group claimed the attack.

In 2016, the US government ordered all civilian relatives of its Istanbul consulate staff to leave Turkey because of increasing threats from terrorist groups.

Turkey was hit by a string of attacks in 2015 and 2016 by several groups including the Islamic State group. — AFP

Related Articles