ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkish police detained two Syrians on suspicion of links to Al Qaeda, including one believed to be a go-between for the terrorist network and a Turkish cell that carried out deadly 2003 bombings in Istanbul.
News of the detentions came after more than 5,000 Israelis on five cruise ships were diverted from Turkish ports to Cyprus in recent days amid intelligence that a terror attack was imminent.
Turkish media reported yesterday that the Syrian suspected of being an Al Qaeda go-between was one of 10 people detained for allegedly plotting to attack Israeli cruise ships docking at vacation resorts on the Mediterranean coast, but police later denied the reports.
Israel on Monday urged its citizens not to visit beach resorts on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, with one official saying that although Turkey was cracking down on terror threats the travel warning would remain in force.
Emmanuel Nahshon, the Israeli deputy ambassador in Ankara, stressed the warning did not apply to the entire country. ''It is not Turkey, it is just a particular area," Nahshon said.
Turkey, which is overwhelmingly Muslim, is a top vacation spot for Israelis, with more than 300,000 visiting each year.