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'Abandon ideological approach' - Turkey says US travel advisory does not reflect reality

Tourist take photos of vibrant clothing shop in Turkey on 28 December 2018 [Behçet Alkan/Anadolu Agency]
Tourist take photos of vibrant clothing shop in Turkey on 28 December 2018 [Behçet Alkan/Anadolu Agency]

The US travel advisory issued for Turkey “does not reflect the reality” for the assessments regarding country’s eastern and southeastern provinces, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

However, the ministry statement noted that the travel advisory contains “generally positive evaluations” as a result of the solid security conditions in Turkey.

On Thursday, the US State Department issued a travel advisory for Turkey, indicating the areas near the Syrian and Iraqi borders with a Level 4 caution, while some areas in the country’s eastern and southeastern regions fell under Level 3.

The ministry said that the US statement is “exceeding the purpose and context of a travel advisory”, adding that such kind of statement could not have been written “in good faith”.

“Claims that do not accurately reflect the security environment in our country are repeated, and unfounded assessments suggesting a threat and a security gap are made in the advisory,” it added.

The statement also underlined that Turkish citizens and guests of the country live in peace and safety all around Turkey.

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The ministry also called on the US to “abandon this ideological approach”, as well as take Turkey’s realities as reference, and correct the issued statement, “which is far from common sense and logic”.

It also stressed that being elected in the country does not mean having the freedom to support terrorism and terrorist organizations, adding that Turkey is determined to effectively fight the terrorism.

“The measures we take on legal and legitimate grounds against those who support terror are the manifestation of our country’s determined fight against this threat.”

Last month, the mayors of the provinces of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van were suspended for their alleged terror links.

The mayors – Adnan Selcuk Mizrakli, Ahmet Turk, and Bedia Ozgokce Ertan – are from the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), a party Turkey’s government has accused of having links to the PKK.

Turkey claims the PKK been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people in Turkey, including many children, women, and infants, for more than 30 years.

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