Turkey issues tit-for-tat travel warning for US

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Turkey has warned its citizens against travel to the United States, saying Turks face the risk of arbitrary arrest and should take precautions if they do decide to travel.

A statement by the Turkish foreign ministry - using nearly identical language to the original United States advisory - warns of an increase in terrorism and "risk of arbitrary detention" in America.

"Turkish citizens travelling to the United States may be subjected to arbitrary detentions based on testimonies of unrespected sources", the ministry said in a statement dated Thursday. "In addition to bombings and shootings, attacks carried out by driving vehicles into a crowd, targeting of city centers and cultural events, metro stations, public buildings, places of worship and even school campuses is also possible", the warning said.

Ankara explains their move by the "inaccurate information" received from the US State Department. Turkey was placed on Level 3 - or the "reconsider travel" - category.

Speaking to reporters after Friday prayers, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said the reciprocal travel warnings did not help the strained ties between Ankara and Washington.

Ankara reacted furiously to last week's conviction in NY of Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla on charges of violating sanctions against Iran.

It singled out areas along the Turkish-Syrian border and area where the Turkish army is fighting Kurdish militants, warning that USA citizens could be accused of being linked to terror groups with "scant or secret evidence and grounds that appear to be politically motivated".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey would conduct military operations in Syria's Afrin if Kurdish Peoples' Protection Units (YPG) militants do not withdraw in a week.

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