The US mission in Turkey updated a previous security alert for US citizens and government employees in Turkey as resentment grows among the local population over Washington’s support for Israel in its ongoing war on Gaza.
“Due to the rise in anti-American activities, U.S. government personnel in Turkey have been cautioned to minimize public engagements and movements, not wear U.S.-affiliated clothing, not draw attention to their nationality and not travel to the U.S. Consulate Adana consular district in Southeastern Turkiye,” the mission said.
US citizens are advised to “stay alert at locations publicly associated with the United States or Israel”, in the wake of several attacks against US-based brands in recent days.
On Saturday, a group of men attacked a Starbucks location with stones, chanting “Allahu Akbar”, over the coffee giant’s alleged support for Israel. Windows were smashed in the Istanbul café, but no customers were injured.
In another case on 6 November, a man let loose a box of mice in a McDonald’s store in Istanbul, shouting “Eat these mice, not the flesh of Muslims”.
Rival chain Burger King also received its share of attacks, with a man stabbing an employee in the southern Adana province. The assailant shouted that Burger King’s food was “tainted by babies’ blood”.
The US Embassy is in Turkey’s capital Ankara, and there are consulates in both Istanbul and Adana. The southern province is also home to a US base in İncirlik.
Attacks against American brands escalated after the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) youth organisation officially called for action against Israel, kicking off their street protests on 27 October with a sit-in at Starbucks stores.
“We hope our 30,000 AK youth strong silent protest of Say Stop against the brand that supports the genocide, atrocities and massacres in Gaza will provide a breath of air for the dignified struggle for freedom by the people of Palestine,” said Eyyüp Kadir İnan, AKP MP and the head of the party’s youth chapter.