Israeli officials repeated a recent travel warning urging on Israelis to avoid visiting Turkey and in a rare and new warning called on its citizens in Turkey to leave the country as soon as possible, according to Israeli media reports.
“Following a situational assessment, we are reiterating and sharpening the high level of threat in Turkey,” Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau was quoted as saying by the Times of Israel on Friday.
“Real and immediate terror threats remain throughout the country,” the statement continued, urging Israelis in Turkey to “avoid crowded tourist areas, follow instructions of local authorities and get out as soon as possible.”
Three Israeli tourists and an Iranian were killed in an attack which took place in İstiklal Street, İstanbul, on March 19 and thought to be carried out by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The attack prompted the counter-terrorism bureau in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office to issue a generalized “level 2” warning against travel to Turkey last month.
Friday’s warning raised the terror risk in Turkey from level 2 (high concrete threat) to level 1 (highest concrete threat level).
Tens of thousands of Israelis visit nearby Turkey each year, despite strained diplomatic relations between the two countries.