US State Department terminates decision ordering families of US diplomats to leave Istanbul

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

The U.S. Department of State said on Tuesday that it has terminated its decision to direct family members of employees posted to the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul to depart Turkey temporarily.

The department said that its October 29, 2016 order calling U.S. personnel and families home is no longer in place as of March 27.

However, restrictions on personal and official travel by U.S. government personnel and their family members still remain, especially in certain areas in southeast Turkey.

The government also reissued a travel alert, replacing the previous warning from January 25, 2017.

In a statement, the department cited recent terrorist attacks, including the Istanbul Reina nightclub attack on New Year's Day and the suicide bombing in Beşiktaş, near Maçka Park in December, for its security concerns.

Especially after the extension of the state of emergency on January 4, Turkey has been on a higher security alert, with security bolstered and additional checks introduced at airports and borders.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has many times assured its allies of the safety of their citizens.

"For us, the security of tourists visiting our country is as important as those of our own citizens. That's why we are doing everything from A to Z to ensure their security and will continue to do so," he said early in March.

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