Turkey Issues US Travel Warning

In a perceived jab at American hypocrisy, Turkey has issued a travel warning to its citizens over traveling to the US, citing ongoing protests against the election of Donald Trump.

“Turkish citizens should stay away from demonstrations in the US cities, take necessary security measures at their homes and work, and inform security officials immediately in possible racist abuse or attacks,” a statement on the foreign ministry’s website read on Saturday.

Anti-Donald Trump demonstrations “occasionally featured acts of crime and violence,” the statement said, adding that “based on demonstrators’ social media posts, it’s clear the demonstrations will likely continue for some time”.

The alert especially applies to New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, Los Angeles, Seattle, Oakland and Portland.

The move came after the US State Department issued its travel warning on Turkey in October, ordering family members of consulate employees in Istanbul to leave the country due to threats against US citizens.

At the time, Turkey’s foreign minister criticised the move and called the American decision is wrong.

“Istanbul or Ankara is not more unsafe than any US state. On the day that the Americans announced this security measure, 12 people were killed in the city of Chicago alone”.

Turkey, along with several other countries in the region, have repeatedly complained over Western hypocrisy and unnecessary meddling when it comes to issues of human rights.

Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday voiced a defiant tone after the EU published a report on Turkish human rights record and how it would affect its candidacy for membership into the bloc.

The report accused Turkey of rolling back the independence of the judiciary, freedom of expression and other fundamental democratic standards since the failed July coup, making its EU membership prospects ever more distant.

“They say unabashedly and shamelessly that the EU should review its negotiations with Turkey,” Erdogan said.

“You are late, go and review them as soon as you can. But don’t just review them — go and make your final decision.”

The Turkish leader added: “You know those 3 million refugees in Turkey? They say there is a problem. What if the negotiations end and they open the gates, where would we put those 3 million refugees? That is their worry. That is why they cannot come to the end point.”

On Sunday, Erdogan hinted in an interview published Sunday he might put the question to a referendum.

“The European Union is trying to compel us to withdraw from this (accession) process.

If they don’t want us they should be clear about this, they should make a decision,” Erdogan told the leading daily Hurriyet.

“Our patience is not endless. If need be, later, we could also consult our people,” he said, alluding to the UK’s Brexit referendum in June.

Turkey’s bid to join the EU dates back to the 1960s with formal talks starting in 2005. But the process has been mired in problems, which current tensions have done nothing to help.

Rocky relations between Ankara and the EU became even more strained in the wake of the failed coup in Turkey in July.

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