The Israeli government has issued a travel warning for Istanbul and raised its terrorism alert to the highest level after officials claimed to have shut down multiple Iranian attack plots targeting tourists.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announced the new advisory for the Turkish city on Monday, citing “a series of attempts at Iranian terrorist attacks against Israelis who went on vacation in Istanbul” in recent weeks.
“We are calling on Israelis not to fly to Istanbul, and if you have no vital need do not fly to Turkey. If you are already in Istanbul, return to Israel as soon as possible… No vacation is worth your life,”
Lapid’s statement coincided with a decision by Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau to raise the alert level for Istanbul to the top of the scale – a distinction shared with war-torn Afghanistan and Yemen – “given the continued threat and Iranian intentions to hurt Israelis.” The rest of Turkey has been flagged with a warning urging against non-essential travel.