JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel warned its citizens living in or visiting Turkey to leave immediately.
The travel warning was issued Monday by the National Security Council Counter Terrorism Bureau, which is part of the Prime Minister’s Office.
The warning, which was upgraded from a basic concrete threat to a high concrete threat, comes a week after a suicide bombing at a main shopping center in Istanbul killed three Israelis and one Iranian national. Turkish media later reported that the bomber targeted an Israeli tour group.
According to the warning, the March 19 bombing “underscores the threat by Daesh against tourist targets throughout Turkey and proves high capabilities of carrying out further attacks.” Daesh is the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
“Terrorist infrastructures in Turkey continue to advance additional attacks against tourist targets – including Israeli tourists – throughout the country,” the warning also said.
Turkish Police issued a nationwide alert on Sunday warning of possible Islamic State attacks over the weekend against churches and synagogues, and calling on consulates and embassies in the country to be on high alert.
The Islamic State has been blamed for four of six bombing attacks in Turkey in the past eight months, the English-language Turkish news service Hurriyet Daily News reported.
On March 22, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a telephone conversation with his Israeli counterpart that his country is “ready to cooperate with Israel against terrorism.”