Americans in Istanbul warned against ‘attacks’, ‘kidnappings’

by WorldTribune Staff, October 24, 2016

The U.S. consulate in Istanbul has warned American citizens of the risk of “armed attacks” and “attempted kidnappings” by Islamist terror groups in the Turkish city.

In a message issued on Oct. 22, the U.S. warned that jihadist groups were continuing their “aggressive efforts” to attack Americans in Istanbul.

Turkish police officers stand guard at Sultanahmet in Istanbul. /AFP
Turkish police stand guard at Sultanahmet in Istanbul. /AFP

“These attacks may be pre-planned or could occur with little or no warning, and include, but are not limited to: armed attack, attempted kidnapping, bombing, or other violent acts,” the consulate said in an online notice.

The consulate also advised U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to southeastern Turkey and to stay away from large crowds – especially in popular tourist destinations – as well as political gatherings and rallies.

Americans planning to visit Istanbul and U.S. citizens living in the city were advised to “review and update their personal security practices” when frequenting areas popular with Westerners or where they may live, the consulate said.

Last month, the consulate warned of a potential security threat targeting U.S.-branded hotels in southern Turkey and the risk of a terror attack on businesses, including Starbucks, used by Westerners in Gaziantep, close to the Syrian border.

The September warning came after jihadists linked to Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) killed 57 people, including 34 children, in a bombing attack at a wedding in Gaziantep.