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Turkey: Heightened security in Istanbul April 18 due to terrorist threat

Heightened security measures at tourist spots and transportation hubs in Istanbul due to terrorist threat

18 Apr 08:30 AM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 4/18/2018, 12:00 AM until 4/22/2018, 11:59 PM (Asia/Istanbul). COUNTRY/REGION Istanbul

Event

An increased police security presence is reported in Istanbul as of Wednesday, April 18, to due to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks, notably at tourist spots and transportation hubs (rail, metro, tram, ferry). These heightened measures will notably include the Eminonu neighborhood of Fatih district.

Context

The general security situation in Turkey remains precarious due to the high risk of terrorism. The country has been a target of multiple attacks perpetrated by the Islamic State (IS) - including a January 2017 IS attack on a nightclub in Istanbul that left 39 dead - which has prompted Turkish police to multiply its counter-terrorism raids. Moreover, a national state of emergency has been in place since July 2016 following a failed coup d'état launched by members of the armed forces.

Furthermore, Turkey has faced a Kurdish insurgency since 1984, spearheaded by the PKK, which was renewed in 2015 following the dissolution of a ceasefire. Tensions between the Turkish state and Kurdish populations have intensified further since the launch of Operation Olive Branch, a Turkish offensive against Kurdish groups in Syria, in January 2018. The conflict has left over 40,000 people dead since 1984 and associated violence continues to pose a significant security risk in southeastern Turkey.

Advice

Due to the risk of terrorism throughout the country, individuals present in Turkey are advised to maintain a high degree of vigilance, to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the relevant authorities, and to be particularly cautious when visiting sites deemed particularly likely to be targeted in an attack (public transportation, train stations, ports, airports, public or government buildings, embassies or consulates, international organizations, schools and universities, religious sites, markets, hotels, and restaurants frequented by foreigners/Westerners, festivals, etc.).

 

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