Iran Advises Nationals to Avoid Visiting Turkey over Security Concerns

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Iran’s Foreign ministry said Iranian nationals are well-advised to exercise caution while traveling to neighboring Turkey due to security concerns.

“Given the imminent coming of Nowruz (the Iranian New Year) holidays and plans of a number of fellow countrymen for travels abroad and given the security situation in Turkey over the past months…, all compatriots who intend to make a trip to turkey in case it is necessary are strongly advised to exercise caution,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement released on Sunday.

In an interview with the Tasnim News Agency on Saturday, a member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission called on citizens to avoid traveling to Turkey in protest at insulting treatment of Iranian nationals by a Turkish officer at the Bazargan-Gurbulak border crossing.

Mohammad Javad Jamali said the commission will certainly follow up on the case of mistreatment of Iranian tourists by Turkish officers at the border crossing.

“I recommend (Iranian) people not to travel to Turkey if possible,” he added, however.

The comments came after a video went viral showing an angry Turkish police officer swearing at an Iranian traveler and hitting him with a nightstick while Iranians were standing in a queue at Gurbulak border crossing, northeast of Turkey.

Though Turkish officials have assured Iran that the officer has been sacked, and photos emerged a few days later showing Turkish security forces welcoming Iranian travelers at the same station with flowers and chocolates, Jamali said the dismissal of that angry officer was not enough and he should face trial.

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