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US Issues Travel Warning for Turkey - 2002-12-05

The United States warned its citizens Thursday of a possible terrorist threat in Turkey. The statement followed a visit to Turkey this week by a senior Pentagon official seeking Turkish support in the event of war with Iraq.

In a unusually specific statement, the State Department warned of possible attacks on Americans in southeastern Turkey and, in particular, at the Gaziantep airport, which is near a number of tourist and archeological sites.

The advisory said the U.S. government had "unconfirmed and fragmentary" information suggesting that unknown terrorists may be planning an attack against official U.S. facilities or personnel.

It said Americans should be "particularly cautious" in transiting the Gaziantep airport, which is being used as an alternate site for flights while the airport at Adana is under repair.

It said Turkish authorities have taken "all prudent measures" to address the possible threat and that the United States and Turkey are cooperating fully in the war on terrorism.

Turkish support would be critical in a possible U.S. war with Iraq, and the statement came a day after a U.S. delegation led by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz discussed the issue with senior Turkish officials in Ankara.