ISTANBUL (AP) — The U.S. ambassador to Ankara has been summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry following a warning to U.S. citizens in Turkey about their attendance at a political rally that referenced police crowd control methods , state media reported on Sunday.
The embassy posted a message on its website May 18 ahead of a rally in Istanbul for the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, on Saturday evening.
“Turkish National Police have used measures, including water cannons, tear gas and non-lethal projectiles, to control crowds at protests in the past,” the alert to U.S. citizens in Turkey said. “There is a good chance that similar measures will be used during this protest.”
The official Anadolu news agency, citing unnamed ministry sources, reported that Ambassador Jeffry Flake had been summoned so that the Turkish government could express its “discomfort” over the “unsubstantiated allegations” in the US warning.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry issued its own warning to Turkish citizens in the United States on Sunday, which appeared to mirror the US statement. He said that in the past, live ammunition, electroshock, tear gas and “violent acts” had been used by US police to quell protests.
Foreign embassies in Turkey regularly warn their citizens to avoid large crowds and demonstrations.