Israel advises citizens against travel to Turkey

Photo: Israel advises citizens against travel to Turkey / Israel

Israel on Saturday advised its citizens not to travel to Turkey amid protests in support of the Gaza Strip in several Turkish cities, saying travel to Turkey should be avoided if not essential, Anadolu Agency reported.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said on its website that Israelis should "avoid non-essential visits" to Turkey, advising Israeli nationals to be vigilant and stay away from anti-Israel demonstrations when they are in Turkey.

Protests broke out in several Turkish cities early on Friday against Israel's ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip, one that has left at least 341 Gazans dead and more than 2560 others injured so far.

Israel's military operation, dubbed operation "Protective Edge", which started on July 7, is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against the embattled Gaza Strip, which is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians, in the last six years.

Israel degraded its diplomatic representation in Ankara on Friday, following angry demonstrations outside its diplomatic missions in Turkey.

On Friday, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement that he had ordered the recall of the families of Israeli diplomats in Ankara and Istanbul.

He blamed Turkish security officials for "not taking action" to prevent the violence, holding Turkey responsible for the well-being of Israeli diplomats in the country.

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