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
0

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.


Libyan coast guard rescues some 160 Europe-bound migrants

Updated 17 July 2018
0

Libyan coast guard rescues some 160 Europe-bound migrants

CAIRO: Libya’s coast guard says it has intercepted some 160 Europe-bound African migrants, including dozens of children and women, in the Mediterranean Sea near its shores.
Spokesman Ayoub Gassim says a boat carrying 158 passengers including 34 women and nine children was stopped Monday off the coast of the western town of Khoms.
Libya has emerged as a major transit point to Europe for those fleeing poverty and civil war elsewhere in Africa. Traffickers have exploited Libya’s chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled and later killed longtime ruler Muammar Qaddafi.
He says the migrants were given humanitarian and medical aid, and were taken to a refugee camp in Khoms town.
Libyan authorities have stepped up efforts to stem the flow of migrants, with European assistance.