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article imageOp-Ed: State Department partially evacuates U.S. Consulate in Turkey Special

By Lonna Lisa Williams     Sep 7, 2013 in World
Istanbul - The U.S. State Department issued warnings to Americans in Turkey as they evacuate non-emergency personnel from the U.S. Consulate in Adana because of a credible threat.
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.
The U.S. Consulate in Istanbul stands like a castle upon a hill
The U.S. Consulate in Istanbul stands like a castle upon a hill
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry honors fallen Turkish guard Mustafa Akarsu at the U.S. Embassy in...
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry honors fallen Turkish guard Mustafa Akarsu at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara
U.S. Embassy Ankara
A young Turkish man  who studies English  holds the Turkish and American flags at an English  Speaki...
A young Turkish man, who studies English, holds the Turkish and American flags at an English "Speaking Cafe" in Izmit, Kocaeli
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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