On September 6, the U.S. State Department issued this warning on their websites
and through emails:
The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens traveling to or living in Turkey that the U.S. Consulate General in Adana has been authorized to draw down its non-emergency staff and family members because of threats against U.S. government facilities and personnel. The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens defer non-essential travel to southeastern Turkey.
On September 6, the Department of State permitted the drawdown of U.S. government non-emergency personnel and family members from the U.S. Consulate General in Adana, Turkey. U.S. citizens seeking to depart Turkey are responsible for making their own travel arrangements. There are no plans for charter flights or other U.S. government-sponsored evacuations.
U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Turkey should be alert to the potential for violence. We strongly urge U.S. citizens to avoid demonstrations and large gatherings. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. There have been no direct attacks on U.S. citizens.
This is an alarming announcement in the wake of President Obama's decision
to seek U.S. Congressional approval to attack Syria because of its use of chemical weapons. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is convinced
that the chemical weapons were used by Syrian President Assad on his own people, and that the U.S. cannot sit idly by and let such an act go unpunished.
As an American living in Turkey, I cannot help but worry about the U.S. Consulate
in Adana's situation. My experience is that most Turks, although they may not like policies of the U.S. government, have nothing against Americans. In fact, almost all of the Turks I have met in the past 2.5 years have been kind and friendly, appreciating Americans who come to Turkey to teach
them English. Perhaps an extremist group is behind the Adana scare. Perhaps America is evacuating its personnel to prepare for a strike
on Syria. After all, Adana
is in southern Turkey, near the Syrian border and a U.S. Air Base
. Whatever the case, I hope that America and Turkey maintain good relations
. Syria has vowed to attack Turkey
if it is attacked, and Iran has its sites on Israel. Russia
has been sending naval ships to the Mediterranean Sea and vows to defend Assad. Let us pray that the world does not get involved in another World War.