U.S. Consulate Adana and All DOD Dependents in Incirlik, Izmir, Mugla, Now on Ordered Departure

Posted: 2:40 pm ET
Updated: 5:17 pm ET (map added plus approximate number of military dependent evacuees)
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The State Department terminated the “authorized departure” status of the U.S. Consulate in Adana, Turkey on February 29, 2016 (see @StateDept Terminates ‘Authorized Departure’ Status for Adana (Turkey) and Bamako (Mali)).  Today, the State Department announced the “ordered departure” of family members of USG personnel posted to U.S. Consulate in Adana, as well as family members of USG civilians assigned in Izmir and Mugla provinces.  U.S. citizens are also warned to avoid travel to southeastern Turkey, particularly near the Syrian border.

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey and to avoid travel to southeastern Turkey.  Effective March 29, 2016, the Department of State ordered the departure of family members of U.S. government personnel posted to U.S. Consulate in Adana and family members of U.S. government civilians in Izmir and Mugla provinces, and restricted official travel to Turkey to “mission-critical” travel only.  U.S. Consulate in Adana remains open and will provide all routine consular services.  This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated March 17, 2016.

Foreign and U.S. tourists have been explicitly targeted by international and indigenous terrorist organizations.  U.S. citizens are reminded to review personal security plans and remain vigilant at all times.  U.S. government personnel in Turkey remain subject to travel restrictions in southeastern provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Sirnak, Diyarbakir, Van, Siirt, Mus, Mardin, Batman, Bingol, Tunceli, Hakkari, Bitlis, and Elazig.  U.S. citizens should avoid areas in close proximity to the Syrian border.

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DOD’s European Command released the following statement which indicates the ordered departure is for all military dependents not just dependents of USG civilians in Adana, Izmir and Mugla:

The Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, has authorized the ordered departure of all DoD dependents not assigned to Chief of Mission authority from Adana (to include Incirlik Air Base), Ismir, and Mugla, Turkey. This decision allows for the deliberate, safe return of family members from these areas due to continued security concerns in the region.

This step does not signify a permanent decision to end accompanied tours at these facilities. It is intended to mitigate the risk to DoD elements and personnel, including family members, while ensuring the combat effectiveness of U.S. forces and our mission support to operations in Turkey. The United States and Turkey are united in our common fight against ISIL, and Incirlik continues to play a key role in counter-ISIL operations.

“The decision to move our families and civilians was made in consultation with the Government of Turkey, our State Department, and our Secretary of Defense,” said Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, Commander, U.S. European Command. “We understand this is disruptive to our military families, but we must keep them safe and ensure the combat effectiveness of our forces to support our strong Ally (sic) Turkey in the fight against terrorism.”

The Washington Examiner citing the EUCOM spokesperson says that there are about 770 dependents in Turkey. About 670 plus 287 pets are expected to evacuate.

 

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#EgyptAir Plane Hijacked in Alexandria Lands in Cyprus, Crew and 4 Foreigners Still With Hijacker

Posted: 4:03 am ET
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An EgyptAir flight going from Alexandria to Cairo in Egypt was hijacked and has landed in Cyprus. According to EgyptAir, the flight has 56 passengers on board, plus a crew of seven and one EgyptAir security.  The passengers have been released after negotiations except for the cabin crew and four foreigners.  There are media outlets reporting that the alleged hijacker, reported as Libyan in some reports and Egyptian in others, is asking for political asylum. There are also unconfirmed reports that among the passengers are U.K. and U.S. nationals. A video footage below shows the released passengers disembarking in an orderly manner from the plane and into a waiting bus at the Larnaca Airport in Cyprus.

 

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