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Government supporters gather at Taksim Square in Istanbul on July 16, 2016, following a failed coup attempt. (AFP photo)

Government supporters gather at Taksim Square in Istanbul on July 16, 2016, following a failed coup attempt. (AFP photo)

The US State Department has cautioned American citizens against travel to Turkey in the wake of a coup attempt that left at least 265 dead.

“In light of the July 15 coup attempt and its aftermath, we suggest US citizens reconsider travel to Turkey at this time,” the department said in a statement.

It also warned of “increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey” and urged citizens to particularly “avoid travel to southeastern Turkey.”

“Foreign and US tourists have been explicitly targeted by international and indigenous terrorist organizations,” the statement said.

Travel restrictions have also been imposed on US government personnel in southeastern Turkey, it added.

The US has suspended all flights to and from Turkey.

Turkish authorities blamed US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen for the bungled coup and demanded he be handed over to Turkey.

President Recept Tayyip Erdogan has long accused Gulen, his former ally, of making efforts to overthrow his administration.

Washington said it would consider an extradition request, while warning its NATO ally that public suggestions of a US involvement in the plot were “utterly false” and harmful to relations.

The attempted coup complicated the US military operations in Iraq and Syria. Turkey closed its airspace to military aircraft and cut off power to Incirlik air base, a major launch point for US air strikes against purported Daesh positions.

The Pentagon said US officials were working with Turkish authorities to resume air operations out of the base as soon as possible.

Force protection at bases the US uses across Turkey was elevated to level “Delta” on Friday night, which is used when there is a terrorist attack.

source