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Turkey issues retaliatory travel alert for US, EU –

Ankara on Saturday (January 28) issued a travel warning to the United States and Europe in response to similar warnings from Western powers regarding Turkey.

The United States and major European countries have advised their citizens not to attend mass events and avoid tourist spots in Turkey.

Their warnings came as diplomatic tensions flared over Turkey’s refusal to allow Sweden and Finland to join the US-led NATO defense bloc.

More recently, Ankara has been outraged by anti-Islamic protests by a far-right extremist who was allowed to burn a Koran outside the Turkish embassies in Stockholm and Copenhagen.

The first newsletter from the Turkish Foreign Ministry speaks of “dangerous levels of religious intolerance and hatred in Europe”.

A separate statement said that “recently there have been verbal and physical attacks against foreigners and acts of racism committed throughout the United States.”

Finland and Sweden broke with decades of military non-alignment and applied to join NATO in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Applications to join NATO must be approved by all 30 members of the alliance.

Turkey and Hungary are the only members that have not ratified the two declarations by a vote in parliament.

The Hungarian legislature is expected to ratify both proposals next month.

But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is firmly on his feet ahead of the May 14 presidential election, in which he is trying to revitalize his nationalist base.

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