By Tevfik Durul
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey's Foreign Affairs Ministry warned Turkish citizens late Wednesday against traveling to Iraq due to demonstrations across the country.
"Due to ongoing demonstrations in various provinces of Iraq, including the capital Baghdad, our citizens are advised to refrain from traveling to areas where such events are taking place," the ministry said in a statement.
The statement said unless it was compulsory to travel, citizens should avoid doing so due to the demonstrations, which have been going on since Oct. 1.
"It is recommended that our citizens currently in Iraq closely follow warnings issued by the Iraqi authorities, avoid crowded places and be vigilant about their personal security," the statement added.
The statement included the phone number of the Turkish consulate’s call center (+90 312 292 29 29) for Turkish citizens who want to contact their relatives in Iraq and the phone number (+964,790,190 94 06) and e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Turkey's embassy in Baghdad.
At least eight people have been killed in two days of anti-government demonstrations in Iraq.
More than 100 people were injured when security forces intervened against the demonstrators, who are protesting against corruption, unemployment and poor public services.
Internet access has also been cut off in Baghdad and some provinces.
The government has also blocked access to social media including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
The Iraqi Defense Ministry instructed security forces to protect public institutions and diplomatic missions due to the demonstrations.
Protestors set fire to several government buildings in Dhi Qar and Najaf provinces.
It was also reported security forces used live bullets to disperse demonstrators gathered inside and in front of the Zikar Provincial Assembly in southern Iraq.
*Writing by Dilara Hamit