The U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense have authorized the voluntary departure of family members of U.S. personnel stationed at Incirlik Airbase and the U.S. consulate in Adana, Turkey, the U.S. Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said on Thursday.
The statement said that the decision was made out of an abundance of caution, following the commencement of military operations out of Incirlik Airbase.
"The safety and security of U.S. citizens living abroad are top priorities, and we take very seriously the responsibility for ensuring the security of members of the entire official American community. We will continue to evaluate our security posture in Turkey and worldwide." said in the statement.
After the authorization, the U.S. government also issued a 'travel warning' for U.S. citizens currently in or planning to go to Turkey. The statement said that U.S. citizens should be on the alert for potential violence when traveling in southeastern Turkey, due to the recent terrorist attacks in the region.
The U.S. embassy especially warned its citizens to avoid "areas in close proximity to the Syrian border" and "large gatherings or demonstrations", while strongly recommending its citizens to keep track of local events and whereabouts via local media and local authorities.
Government employees will continue to be subject to travel restrictions in Turkey's southeast due to the increase in terror attacks, said the statement, pointing out that "travel to the provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Şırnak, Diyarbakır, Van, Siirt, Muş, Mardin, Batman, Bingöl, Tunceli, Hakkari, Bitlis, and Elazığ" needed an advance approval, whether it was an official visit or not.