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UPDATE 1-U.S. suspends Turkey visa services after reports on potential attacks

(Adds comment from spokesperson, background)

ANKARA, Oct 23 (Reuters) - The U.S. Embassy in Ankara said on Friday it was temporarily suspending all American citizen and visa services at missions in Turkey over credible reports of potential terrorist attacks and kidnappings against U.S. citizens in Istanbul.

“The U.S. Mission in Turkey has received credible reports of potential terrorist attacks and kidnappings against U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in Istanbul, including against the U.S. Consulate General, as well as potentially other locations in Turkey,” the embassy said.

A U.S. Embassy spokesperson said the statement was issued after an ongoing assessment of security conditions in Turkey.

On New Year’s Day 2017, a lone gunman killed 39 people in an attack at an Istanbul nightclub which was later claimed by Islamic State. It was one of a series of militant attacks that killed dozens of people in Istanbul and elsewhere in Turkey.

Since the attack, Turkish authorities have cracked down on suspected Islamic State members and Kurdish militants, carrying out many security operations across the country and detaining hundreds of people. (Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay Editing by Daren Butler)

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