ISTANBUL, Turkey – The United States embassy in Turkey on April 9 warned American citizens of “credible threats” to tourist areas in Istanbul and the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, a day after Israel warned of “imminent risks” of attacks.
“The U.S. Mission in Turkey would like to inform U.S. citizens that there are credible threats to tourist areas, in particular to public squares and docks in Istanbul and Antalya,” read the emergency travel warning published on its official website.
On April 8, Israel reissued and accentuated a warning to its citizens to avoid Turkey over the “immediate risks” of attacks, weeks after three Israelis were killed in an Istanbul suicide bombing.
“Following a situational assessment, we are reiterating and sharpening the high level of threat in Turkey,” the counter terrorism bureau said.
Its warning came hours after the Turkish foreign ministry announced “progress towards finalizing the agreement” on restoring ties with Israel, a day after both sides held talks in London.
“There are immediate risks of attacks being carried out in the country, and we stress the threat applies to all tourism sites in Turkey,” Israel’s counter terrorism bureau said in a statement.
It called on all Israelis to avoid visiting Turkey and urged Israeli tourists there to leave “as soon as possible,” defining the threat as level 2 — “concrete and high” — the same as in its previous warning from March 28.
Three Israelis and an Iranian were killed and 39 people wounded when a man blew himself up on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue, a famous shopping street in the heart of Turkey’s largest city, on March 19.
Turkey said the bomber had links to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and on April 5 Israel’s defense ministry said he had most likely targeted the Israelis deliberately.