Family members of U.S. Embassy employees in Ankara may leave Turkey under a voluntary departure authorization announced Tuesday by the U.S. State Department in the wake of the turmoil following a failed military coup. Voluntary departure was also granted for family members of employees working at the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, according to a security message dated Tuesday on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara. Families have the option of returning to the States at government expense under a voluntary departure authorization. The decision to give families the option of leaving Turkey was made after the July 15 attempted coup and the subsequent declaration by the Turkish government of a 90-day state of emergency, the State Department said in the message. “During this period, U.S. citizens in Turkey may see an increase in police or military activities and restrictions on movement,” the State Department said. The State Department’s voluntary departure announcement was part of an updated travel advisory warning of continuing threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey. The department says U.S. citizens should avoid travel to southeastern Turkey, particularly near the Syrian border.
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