US Embassy warns citizens in Turkey of possible attacks during holiday season

A picture taken on December 20, 2016 shows the US Embassy in Ankara, closed for the day after a shooting incident overnight that followed the assassination of the Russian ambassador in the Turkish capital. "An individual approached the US Embassy Ankara main gate and discharged a firearm," the embassy said in a statement, adding no-one was hurt and the individual was detained. ?As a result, the embassy and consulates in Istanbul and Adana were closed for normal operations, it added. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

In a written statement issued on Thursday, the US mission in Turkey warned US citizens against possible attacks by extremist groups throughout the country while urging them to be mindful about attending gatherings for holiday and New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The security warning comes at a time when Turkey has been targeted by various terrorist groups, with several incidents taking place in 2016 alone.

The US statement said extremist groups are continuing their aggressive efforts to conduct attacks across Turkey, especially in places where expatriates reside or frequent.

On Oct. 29 the US State Department had ordered family members of diplomats in its İstanbul Consulate General to leave Turkey due to security threats.