U.S. Orders Family Members to Evacuate Consulate in Istanbul

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The State Department has ordered family members of employees at the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul to leave amid fears of extremist groups targeting Americans and neighborhoods where they reside.

The State Department in an advisory Saturday also warned Americans in the country to take caution, and said extremist groups have threatened to kill or kidnap U.S. citizens and Westerners.

The U.S. Consulate in Istanbul remains open. The order does not apply to other U.S. diplomatic posts in the country.

Turkey has been on edge since a failed coup carried out by a faction of the armed forces on July 15. The terror group ISIS has also carried out attacks in Istanbul and other parts of the country. ISIS is suspected of carrying out the deadly suicide attack on Istanbul’s airport in June.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blamed the coup on Fethullah Gulen, a cleric in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania and has requested that the U.S. extradite him on unrelated issues. Gulen has denied having any role in the attempted coup. The U.S. has not announced a decision in the matter.

-NBCNEWS