The UK’s Foreign Ministry has issued a travel warning advising holidaymakers in Turkey to stay away from demonstrations and areas abutting the Syrian border. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued the warning on Friday ahead of demonstrations planned for Istanbul and Ankara over the weekend.
In Istanbul yesterday, police dispersed protestors in central Istanbul with water cannons and tear gas. The demonstrators alleged the Turkish government has been colluding with the Islamic State of Iraq while in Ankara the protestors were demonstrating against the government’s bombing campaigns in Iraq and Syria.
The FCO issued its advisory in the wake of Turkish air strikes which targeted Islamic State zones in the two countries. Analysts say it is only a matter of time before IS militants carry out further retaliatory attacks on Turkish soil.
An FCO spokesperson said Turkey had been beset with unrest in recent months and intelligence indicated there was a high risk of a terrorist attack. The spokesperson noted that different cabals of militants were active in all parts of Turkey.
The FCO currently says that Britons should not venture within 10kms of the Syrian border. It also says that Britons should not visit Turkish provinces including Sirnak, Mardin and Hakkari unless they really have to.
Turkish authorities have been on high alert since a bombing in Suruc claimed the lives of more than 30 on 20 July. Turkey claims the atrocity, which also saw 100 hospitalised, was carried out by a bomber affiliated to ISIL.