Turkey says citizens traveling to US face risk of arbitrary arrest

President of Turkey and Leader of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) talks with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in this file photo. Yildirim said the reciprocal travel warnings did not help the strained ties between Ankara and Washington. (AFP)
Updated 12 January 2018
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Turkey says citizens traveling to US face risk of arbitrary arrest

ANKARA: Turkey has warned its citizens against travel to the US, saying Turks face the risk of arbitrary arrest and should take precautions if they do decide to travel.
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.”
Ties between Ankara and Washington, both NATO allies and members of the coalition against Islamic State, have been strained by the US arrest and conviction of a Turkish banker in an Iran sanctions-busting case, a trial Turkey has dismissed as politically motivated.
“Turkish citizens traveling to the United States may be subjected to arbitrary detentions based on testimonies of unrespected sources,” the ministry said in a statement dated Thursday.
Ankara has said that the case against the banker was based on false evidence and supported by the network of the cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom it blames for orchestrating a failed coup in 2016. Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999, has denied the charges and condemned the coup.
Speaking to reporters after Friday prayers, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the reciprocal travel warnings did not help the strained ties between Ankara and Washington.
“The ‘Turkey is not a safe country’ statement does not benefit ties between the two countries,” Yildirim said.
The travel warning updates come after the United States and Turkey lifted all visa restrictions against each other in late December, ending a months-long dispute that began when Washington suspended visa services at its Turkish missions after two local employees of the US consulate were detained on suspicion of links to the coup.


Coalition airstrike targets mosque used by Daesh

Updated 49 min 2 sec ago
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Coalition airstrike targets mosque used by Daesh

  • The coalition said the use of the mosque as a headquarters by Daesh caused it to lose its protected status
  • The coalition says Daesh deliberately chose the mosque and repeatedly used it to plan and coordinate attacks

AL-UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar: The US-led coalition fighting the Daesh group says an airstrike on a mosque in Syria targeted an insurgent command and control center and killed a dozen fighters.
The coalition in a statement says that while the law of war protects mosques, the use of the building as a headquarters by Daesh caused it to lose that protected status.
Syrian state media and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said last week that strikes in Sousa near the Iraq border killed and wounded dozens, including civilians and Daesh fighters.
The coalition says Daesh deliberately chose the mosque and repeatedly used it to plan and coordinate attacks on US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. Sousa is in the last Daesh-held pocket in Syria where those forces have been fighting extremists for weeks.