US warns citizens of terrorist threats in Turkey

The U.S. State Department is continuing to warn U.S. citizens of an increased threat from terrorist groups throughout Turkey.

In a travel advisory issued Monday, the State Department said it also urges Americans to continue to avoid traveling to the southeastern part of the country, especially to areas in close proximity to the Syrian border.

The department said it has extended “voluntary departure” status for family members of staff at the U.S. embassy in Ankara and at the consulate general in Istanbul until September 23. The designation means that family members of staff who wish to leave the country can receive free flights out.

The agency first allowed for the voluntary departures after the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey and the subsequent decision by the government to declare a state of emergency.

State Department officials say foreign and U.S. tourists have been explicitly targeted by terrorist groups in Turkey, as well as by international terrorist organizations.