On October 23, the US Embassy in Ankara informed US citizens in Turkey that it expanded the number of provinces in the country that requires special permission for official and unofficial travel by US government employees. Excerpt below from its Emergency Message:
The Embassy advises U.S. citizens that we have recently added the provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, and Șanlıurfa to the list of provinces in southeast Turkey for which special permission is required for any necessary official or unofficial travel by U.S. government employees. The other restricted provinces are Şırnak, Diyarbakır, Van, Siirt, Muș, Mardin, Batman, Bingöl, Tunceli, Hakkâri, Bitlis and Elaziğ. U.S government employees are required to take special precautions when traveling in these provinces, to include consulting with local security officials on current threats. If road travel is necessary, drive only during daylight hours and on major highways. The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens that the situation in southeast Turkey, while usually calm, can change without warning. Over the past several months, provinces in southeast Turkey have experienced a substantial increase in terrorist attacks and kidnappings. Turkish towns located directly along the border with Syria have also been struck by bullets and artillery rounds originating in Syria, with some resulting in deaths or injuries.
In addition to the well-known, longstanding threat from terrorists associated with Kongra-Gel (KGK, also known as PKK), other violent extremists have transited Turkey en route to Syria. Therefore, we recommend that U.S. citizens take care in meetings with individuals claiming to represent the Syrian opposition movement.
I should note that we have a small consulate in Adana, as well as Incirlik Air Base a few kilometers from the city.
- 9 Killed in Clashes in Southeast Turkey (voanews.com)
- Shell from Syria hits Turkish health centre (dailystar.com.lb)
- On Turkey’s Syrian frontier, fears of a sectarian spillover (news.yahoo.com)
- Turkey fires on Syria in retaliation incident: state TV – Reuters (reuters.com)
- Turkey Moves Tanks to Hilltops Overlooking Syria (bloomberg.com)