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State Department Warns Americans in Turkey

By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2002 – The U.S. State Department Dec. 5 warned Americans of a possible terrorist threat in Turkey.

"The U.S. Government has received unconfirmed and fragmentary information that suggests unknown terrorists may be planning to conduct a terrorist incident in southeast Turkey against official U.S. government facilities or personnel," the statement says.

It goes on to say "Americans should be particularly cautious" traveling into or out of Gaziantep airport, which is being used as an alternate while the Adana airport is undergoing repairs.

The statement says the U.S. and Turkish governments are cooperating fully to address the threat and that the Turkish government has "undertaken all prudent measures."

The alert extends through Jan. 2, 2003.

Roughly 5,000 Defense Department personnel and family members are stationed in Turkey, including about 2,200 service members.

Operation Northern Watch, the mission of monitoring the northern no-fly zone in Iraq, is managed from Incirlik Air Base in south-central Turkey. ONW sorties by coalition aircraft are flown from there.

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