Turkey warns citizens against travelling to U.S.

The Turkish government has warned its citizens about travelling to the United States in response to a new U.S. travel advisory that warned Americans about terrorist threats and arbitrary detentions in Turkey.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister said: “Turkish citizens traveling to the United States may be subjected to arbitrary detentions based on testimonies of unknown sources”.

Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News website also quoted the ministry’s statement as saying that there had been an increase in terrorist attacks and violent incidents in the United States recently.

The ministry said, referring to several deadly incidents there over the past few months: “We observe an increasing number of terror plots and acts of violence in the United States”.

The travel warning came 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”.

The latest developments could further strain the relationship between the two NATO allies, already tense over a number of issues.

Ties between Ankara and Washington have been strained after the U.S. arrested and convicted a Turkish banker for allegedly helping Iran evade US sanctions in a case which Turkey has dismissed as politically motivated.

On January 3, a jury in New York found Halkbank Deputy General Manager Mehmet Hakan Atilla guilty on five of six counts he faced, including bank fraud and conspiracy to violate U.S. sanctions law.

Halkbank has denied any wrongdoing, saying that its transactions were in line with national and international regulations.

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