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US closes down gov’t buildings in Gaziantep

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The US has closed down government offices in Gaziantep, southeast Turkey, due to the security risk posed by the conflict in neighboring Syria.

The statement on the US Embassy in Ankara’s website told US citizens to refrain from travelling to the provinces Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Sirnak, Diyarbakır, Van, Siirt, Mus, Mardin, Batman, Bingöl, Tunceli, Hakkari, Bitlis, Elazığ, Adana,  İzmir, and Muğla.

“From time to time, either in response to specific threats or to remain flexible and enhance our preparedness, U.S. Mission facilities may limit the days or hours of operations” the statement read. “In keeping with this approach, U.S. government offices in Gaziantep will be closed temporarily.  Please note the operating status of this and other U.S. Mission facilities may be subject to change as the security situation evolves.”

Turkey is an integral part of the global anti-ISIL coalition led by the US, against the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The US embassy posted a warning of a “possible threat” to the area near Bahçelievler district in Ankara days on March 11, only days before a deadly blast on Sunday took place in Ankara’s Kızılay killing at least 37 and injuring over 100.

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