With a capital spanning two continents, stunning beaches along the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts and favorable exchange rates, Turkey is an attractive proposition for travelers all year round. However, given the current fighting situation in Israel and Gaza as well as the possibility of neighboring countries being drawn into conflict in the region, those traveling to Turkey may be concerned about their safety. me. Currently, the British Foreign Office (FCDO) does not advise tourists not to visit this country. Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning a visit. Main photo:
Most parts of the country are considered safe and popular with tourists, but as with any destination, you should follow the latest travel advice from the Foreign Office (Alamy) Is Türkiye affected by the Hamas-Israel conflict? So far, there are no signs that Türkiye is affected by the conflict. Irit Lillian, Israel’s ambassador to Turkey, said the attacks showed that Hamas should not be present in Turkey or anywhere else.
“We call on all sides to exercise restraint” and both sides “must refrain from any acts of aggression,” the country’s president, Tayyip Erdogan, told his AKP party congress. He also said Türkiye would do everything in its power to ease tensions and end violence. Is it safe to travel to Turkey? It depends on where you travel, but most parts of Türkiye are safe and tourist-friendly.
However, the UK Foreign Office considers the terrorist threat to be very high in the country (see more on this below), and some protests and political demonstrations have turned violent. Several areas, including recently Kemer in Antalya, have had forest fires. So, as with any destination, you should remain vigilant and follow the latest travel advice from the Foreign Office as well as advice from authorities on the ground. What is the Foreign Office’s travel advice? The Ministry of Foreign Affairs currently advises against travel to areas within 10 km of the border with Syria and against traveling to Sirnak and Hakkari provinces unless necessary. In the rest of the country, it’s still a matter of vigilance.
Protests erupt sporadically and terrorist attacks can occur without warning. Throughout Türkiye, crime rates are low but theft is common, especially pickpocketing. Passports were also stolen from rented villas, including safes, in the Didim, Kas, Kalkan and Fethiye/Hisaronu/Ovacik areas.
Travelers should also avoid any invitations to eat or drink that might be excessive, and be wary if someone offers to take you to a club or restaurant or help you exchange money. Cases of sexual assault and rape were also reported, most occurring during the busy summer season in coastal areas. In many cases, it is someone the victim met earlier in the day.
Regarding forest fires, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised: “Forest fires occur frequently in Türkiye during the summer. Use caution when visiting or driving in wooded areas. You risk fines or jail time if you light any type of fire in a restricted area. This includes grilling meat and throwing cigarette butts into the woods. If there is a bushfire in your area, local authorities may ask you to leave your home.
Follow instructions from local authorities. If you see a bushfire, call the emergency services on 112.” What are Türkiye’s entry requirements? British citizens can visit Türkiye visa-free for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. If you plan to stay in the country longer, you will need a visa or residence permit.
Türkiye requires your passport to be valid for at least 150 days from the date of your arrival in the country. You will also need a completely blank page for the input and output markers.