March 21, 2018

Turkey issues travel warning for the U.S. citing 'arbitrary detentions' risks

13 January 2018, 12:38 | Opal Carroll

Turkey issues travel warning for citizens visiting US in retaliatory move

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seen on a billboard next to a dummy bearing an image of preacher Fethullah Gulen at the Kizilay Square in Ankara during a protest against the failed military coup

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has reportedly told citizens that they could possibly face arbitrary arrests in the US.

The comments from the Turkish Foreign Ministry come after the US Department of State this week made a similar warning to its citizens, saying Americans planning to visit Turkey should reconsider plans due to "terrorism and arbitrary detentions".

"We observe an increasing number of terror plots and acts of violence in the United States", the ministry said in a statement.

The tit-for-tat diplomacy fits the recent deterioration in relations between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Meanwhile, Turkey has since March 2017 been holding Hamza Ulucay, a veteran translator from the USA consulate in Adana, on charges of links to Kurdish militants.

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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 two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have seen their ties deteriorate since a coup attempt in 2016 that the Turkish government blames on US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.

In return, the Turkish foreign ministry said Turkish public sector employees in the United States had been detained on "baseless allegations".

Meanwhile several bodyguards of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have been indicted in absentia over a fracas during his visit to the USA a year ago.

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