Turkey is a 'safe country', foreign ministry says, after Israel travel warnings over Iran 'threat'

Turkey is a 'safe country', foreign ministry says, after Israel travel warnings over Iran 'threat'
2 min read
Ankara has said Turkey is a 'safe country' after Israel warned citizens to leave over the threat of Iranian attacks.
Despite Israel's travel warnings against its citizens in Turkey, both countries are on the course of mending their diplomatic ties [Getty]

Turkey is "a safe country", its foreign ministry said on Tuesday, after Israeli authorities urged their citizens to leave over fears of Iranian attacks.

In an indirect response that did not mention Israel, the ministry noted "some countries" had issued travel warnings.

Turkey "is a safe country and continues to fight against terrorism", the statement said.

"These travel warnings are considered to be related to different international developments and motives," it added.

Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Monday urged citizens in Turkey to leave "as soon as possible" over threats that Iranian operatives were planning attacks on Israelis in Istanbul.

He said there was "a real and immediate danger" from Iranian agents.

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On Monday, Israel's Yediot Ahronot newspaper quoted an unnamed security official saying several Iranian "cells" were planning operations against Israeli tourists in Turkey.

The warnings come amid the latest surge in tensions between bitter rivals Iran and Israel, with Tehran blaming Tel Aviv for a series of attacks on its nuclear and military infrastructure, in Iran but also in Syria.

The warnings also follow the aftermath of the killing of Revolutionary Guards Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodai last month, which Iran blames Israel for. 

Turkey is a popular holiday destination for Israelis, including through more than a decade of diplomatic rupture between the two countries.

Ankara and Israel have mended ties in recent months, with senior Turkish leaders citing the importance of Israel to Turkey's tourism sector.