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U.S. Considering Banning Family Deployments to Turkey

The security situation in Turkey has deteriorated to the point where the United States is considering a ban against family members accompanying both military and civilian deployments.

The story comes from two U.S. defense sources for Reuters, which recall that family members of military and diplomatic personnel were ordered to leave Turkey’s Incirlik airbase in March.

Military officials are now planning to designate deployments to Incirlik and other Turkish locations as “unaccompanied” tours, according to Reuters’s sources.

They said the new policy was under consideration even before the horrific suicide bomb attack at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul on Tuesday. The Pentagon has stated that no U.S. service members or their families were among the casualties of the bombing, while the State Department has said it had no immediate reports of any U.S. citizens killed or injured.

The change would also reduce the length of U.S. military deployments to Turkey to one year instead of two. Dependents already in Turkey would be allowed to remain until they “depart through natural attrition.”

“The change would not apply to U.S. personnel who are part of a ‘chief of mission’ role or security cooperation team,” said the Reuters sources.

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