State Department orders family of Istanbul consular staff to evacuate

Turkish police stand guard at the site of a terrorist attack in the Blue Mosque area in Istanbul's tourist hub of Sultanahmet in January. The U.S. State Department on Saturday ordered the evacuation of all family members of consulate workers in Istanbul, citing the ongoing terrorist threat in the country. File Photo by Ali Turkel/UPI | License Photo

ISTANBUL, Turkey, Oct. 29 (UPI) — The State Department on Saturday ordered family members of employees at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul to evacuate, citing ongoing terrorist threats in the region.

The consulate itself will remain open, and the order does not extend to other diplomatic outposts or the U.S. Embassy in the capital Ankara.

The State Department issued a travel warning for Americans abroad to avoid the southeastern portion of Turkey near the Syrian border on Monday, citing terrorist threats.

“Foreign and U.S. tourists have been explicitly targeted by international and indigenous terrorist organizations in Turkey,” the advisory stated. “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.”


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