The Turkish Foreign Ministry urged citizens on Friday to reconsider travel plans to the United States, citing a series of terror attacks, violent incidents and “arbitrary arrests” – an apparent reference to a Turkish banker who was arrested in the United States and convicted of helping Iran avoid US sanctions.
The travel warning comes just days after Washington urged its citizens to reconsider travel to Turkey, citing terror threats and arbitrary detentions under an ongoing state of emergency.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Thursday that Turkey will cease to hand over suspects to the US if Washington does not extradite the cleric Ankara blames for orchestrating a failed 2016 military coup.
“We have given the United States 12 terrorists so far, but they have not given us back the one we want. They made up excuses from thin air,” Erdogan told local administrators at a conference in his presidential palace in Ankara.
“If you’re not giving him [Fethullah Gulen] to us, then excuse us, but from now on whenever you ask us for another terrorist, for as long as I remain in office, you will not get them,” he said.
Relations between Ankara and Washington have soured over the US’ reluctance to hand Gulen over to the Turkish authorities.
Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999, has denied the charges and condemned the coup and subsequent “witch hunt”.
Since the failed coup, more than 50,000 people, including civil servants and security personnel, have been jailed pending trial and some 150,000 suspended or dismissed from their jobs under state of emergency rule imposed and extended by Erdogan.