US, French citizens urged to be ‘vigilant’ in Turkey

by

The governments of the United States and France have urged their citizens to be extra vigilant while staying in Turkey, amid the risk of attacks by foreign or local militants in the wake of air strikes on the Islamic State.

“Following the commencement of military action against Islamic State targets in Syria, US citizens are reminded that there have been violent attacks in Turkey in the past,” the US embassy in Ankara, the Turkish capital, said in a statement.

“The possibility of terrorist attacks against US citizens and interests, from both transnational and indigenous groups, remains high,” it said.

The French foreign ministry followed suit, warning its citizens of possible kidnappings.

“In the context of international coalition intervention against the Islamic State, and in the face of an increased risk of kidnappings and hostile acts against citizens of countries who are part of the coalition, French nationals are asked to increase their vigilance,” the ministry said on an online website.

The warnings came one day after French tourist Herve Gourdel was beheaded by an Algerian militant group linked to the Islamic State.

France has already joined the US-led coalition, which also includes Arab nations, and launched its first air strikes aiming for Islamic State targets in Iraq on 19 September.

After the murder of Gourdel, the ministry updated its advice for Turkey and Jordan.

Meanwhile, French media reported three missing suspected jihadists have given themselves up after officials in Turkey put them on a plane to the wrong French airport.

The men believed they had joined militants across the Turkish border in Syria and were detained last month after they crossed back into Turkey.