US Embassy Issues Security Alert for Istanbul: Possible Terrorist Attacks
by FARUK IMAMOVIC | VIEW 441
In the wake of recent incidents of Koran burning in Europe, the US Embassy in Turkey has issued a warning to American citizens about possible attacks on churches, synagogues, and diplomatic missions in Istanbul. This marks the second such notification in a span of just four days, heightening concerns about the safety of Westerners in the area.
Potential Imminent Retaliatory Attacks
In an updated security alert, the US Embassy stated, "The US government cautions its citizens of possible imminent retaliatory attacks by terrorists against churches, synagogues, and diplomatic missions in Istanbul or other places Westerners frequent, especially in the Beyoglu, Galata, Taksim, and Istiklal areas." The Turkish authorities are currently investigating the matter.
The message serves as an update to the security alert issued on January 27, 2023, regarding the Quran-burning incidents in Europe.
Act Calmly in the Face of Xenophobic and Racist Harassment and Attacks
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has issued two separate travel advisories, recommending its citizens in the United States and Europe to "act calmly in the face of possible xenophobic and racist harassment and attacks" and to "stay away from areas where demonstrations may intensify." The UK's Foreign Office (FCDO) has also updated its Turkey advice, stating that "terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Turkey." The FCDO advised citizens to be vigilant and to monitor media reports, as previous methods of attack have included armed assaults, suicide bombings, car bombings, rocket attacks, arson, and improvised explosive devices left in crowded areas, shops, and public transport.
“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Turkey. Terrorist groups, including PKK, Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) and far left organisations, continue to plan and carry out attacks,” it now advises.
“Most attacks have taken place in the south-east of the country, and in Ankara and Istanbul. There is a potential that citizens from western countries may be targets or caught up in attacks, particularly in the major cities.
“Previous methods of attack have included armed assaults, suicide bombings, car bombings, rocket attacks, arson and improvised explosive devices left in refuse bins, crowded areas, shops and on public transport. Be vigilant, monitor media reports and keep up to date with this travel advice”.