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US warns against travel to Turkey after coup attempt

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WASHINGTON: The United States warned its citizens against travel to Turkey on Saturday after authorities crushed a military coup that claimed at least 265 lives.

“The US Department of State warns US citizens of increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey and to avoid travel to southeastern Turkey,” a statement read.

“In light of the July 15 coup attempt and its aftermath, we suggest US citizens reconsider travel to Turkey at this time.”

Turkish authorities blamed Fethullah Gulen, a US-based cleric who is President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s arch enemy, for the plot and lost no time in rounding up 2,839 soldiers over alleged involvement, amid global alarm over the extent of the retribution.

The State Department said travel restrictions have been imposed on US government personnel in southeastern Turkey.

“US citizens are reminded to review personal security plans and remain vigilant at all times,” it added.

“Foreign and US tourists have been explicitly targeted by international and indigenous terrorist organizations.”

The US government suspended all flights to Turkey, and banned all airlines from flying to the United States from Turkey due to uncertainty after Friday’s failed coup — in line with many other international carriers.

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