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Israel rescinds travel warning on Turkey

Counter-Terrorism Bureau announces it is now safe to travel to Turkey, despite government's anti-Israel comments; however Israelis warned to stay away from mass rallies, avoid political arguments

The Counter-Terrorism Bureau on Tuesday cancelled a travel warning issued on Turkey after the calamitous IDF raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in May.


The bureau issued a statement saying the warning had been withdrawn due to a "calm and lack of mass rallies against Israel".


However the bureau recommended that Israelis residing in Turkey "stay away from any rally that may be, and refrain from getting into political arguments with locals".


Elkana Har-Nof, an official with the bureau, told Ynet that the cancelation of the warning means "Israelis can now travel to this country without fear".


He said the decision to post the warning came after the slew of anti-Israel rallies held in Turkey after the flotilla raid.


"The warning was not based on intelligence but rather a fear that the mass rallies there, which were rather outspoken, will deteriorate to violence against Israelis," he said.


"Since then, for the past month and a half, there have been no rallies, and from an intelligence point of view no terror threats are known of."


Har-Nof qualified his statement, however, by saying that "tomorrow morning something new could develop", and warned Israelis against getting caught up in unnecessary political demonstrations.


"The rules of behavior for the entire world apply there as well: Don't stand out, don't speak Hebrew in problematic areas and don't bear any sign of Israeli identity," he said.


The cancelation of the warning was unexpected, as the Turkish government continues to improve ties with Lebanon and Syria. On Monday Damascus hosted a summit attended by leaders from the three countries, in which they called for increased efforts at "ending the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip".



פרסום ראשון: 07.20.10, 20:23
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