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Taiwan issues travel alert for Istanbul

2016/06/29 17:01:43

Photo courtesy of Cihan News Agency

Taipei, June 29 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has issued an orange travel alert for Istanbul after the city's main airport was hit by a string of suicide bombings on Tuesday night that killed at least 36 people and wounded other 147.

Under the alert issued on Wednesday, people are advised against unnecessary travel to Istanbul or to take precautions if taking business trips in Turkey in the near future.

Under the MOFA's four-color travel advisory system, the lowest warning level is gray, followed by yellow, then orange and finally red.

A red alert advises people to refrain from traveling to the region in question.

No Taiwanese travelers were killed or injured in the suicide bombings, the MOFA said earlier in the day, but the attacks have raised the concerns of lawmakers over Taiwanese nationals' safety at Ataturk Airport and other areas in Istanbul.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應) asked the MOFA to distribute the ministry's emergency contact cards to Taiwanese travelers now in Istanbul so they can call for assistance if they face a predicament.

The MOFA's emergency contact card contains telephone numbers and addresses of the ministry's representative offices in foreign countries.

Foreign wire service reports said Ataturk Airport's operations were slowly returning to normal after the attacks, and it appeared as of late Wednesday afternoon that EVA Airways will go through with its scheduled direct flight to Istanbul that leaves Taoyuan International Airport at 12:30 a.m. Thursday.

(By Tai Ya-chen, Wang Cheng-chung and Elizabeth Hsu)
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