Another Bomb Attack and a Message from the US Embassy

Yesterday there was a bomb attack on the AKP headquarters in Ankara.  Allegedly, it was thrown towards Prime Minister’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s office.  One person was injured.  You can read the full story by clicking here:

Double bomb attack hits AKP HQ, ministry building in Ankara

This morning I received an email with a message from the U.S. Embassy.  The entire message is below.  As always, please be safe but don’t give up on Turkey!

United States Embassy Ankara, Turkey

            March 19, 2013      

          Security Message for U.S. Citizens:

Terrorist Organization Anniversary Dates and Nevruz

 The U.S. Embassy reminds all U.S. citizens in Turkey that terrorist organizations have historically demonstrated a preference for conducting attacks on dates deemed important to the organization.  Beginning March 30 and continuing through the first three weeks of April, the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) has several significant anniversary dates, including the March 30 anniversary of the founding of the organization.

The DHKP/C claimed responsibility for the February 1 suicide attack against the U.S. Embassy in Ankara.  The DHKP/C is a terrorist organization that has existed since the 1970s and has networks in Turkey and across Europe.  The Embassy has no knowledge of any specific attacks being planned by the DHKP/C.  However, the DHKP/C has stated its intention to commit further attacks against the United States, NATO, and Turkey.

On March 21, many in Turkey will observe Nevruz – a spring festival commonly recognized as the Kurdish New Year and a celebration marking the beginning of spring.  Public Nevruz observances typically involve bonfires and mass celebrations.  Historically, members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have used these celebrations to incite violence in order to provoke a response from Turkish authorities.  Due to ongoing peace talks, the police do not anticipate the violence associated with past celebrations.

However, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.  U.S. citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations.

The Embassy continues to urge U.S. citizens to stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times.  Please check our Country Specific Information Sheet for further security guidance.  The Embassy advises U.S. citizens traveling or residing in Turkey to be alert to the potential for violence, to avoid those areas where disturbances have occurred, and to avoid demonstrations and large gatherings.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens and nationals traveling to or residing in Turkey enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).    U.S. citizens and nationals without Internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  Enrolling signs you up to receive updated information about areas abroad, and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to contact you or your designated contact in case of emergency.

Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, a regular toll line at +1-202-501-4444 for callers from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  You can also stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook.  Downloading our free Smart Traveler app, available through the iTunes store and the Google Play store, for travel information at your fingertips..

Contact information for the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Turkey:

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara is located at 110 Ataturk Boulevard, tel: (90) (312) 455-5555, fax (90) (312) 468-6131.

The U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul is located at 2 Uçsehitler Sokagi, 34460, Istinye, Sariyer, tel: (90) (212) 335-9000, fax (90) (212) 335-9102.

The U.S. Consulate in Adana is located at 212 Girne Bulvar?, Güzelevler Mahallesi, Yüre?ir, Adana, tel: (90)(322) 346-6262, fax (90)(322) 346-7916.

The Consular Agency in Izmir can be reached at tel: (90)(232) 464-8755, fax (90)(232) 464-8916.

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