In the early hours (local time) of Tuesday, May 15, police announced the arrest of 54 individuals with suspected links to the Islamic State (IS) following counter-terrorism raids in Istanbul. The operations took place on Monday night, May 14, across a dozen of the capital's districts. According to reports, the detained individuals are suspected of seeking to join IS in Syria.
The general security situation in Turkey remains precarious due to the heightened 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.
Individuals in Turkey are advised to remain vigilant and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities. Individuals should expect heightened security measures, follow any instructions issued by the local authorities, and carry proper identification at all times (e.g., passport).
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.).