Is Turkey safe? Elections could affect flights and holidays especially in Istanbul | Travel News | Travel

Is Turkey safe? Elections could affect flights and holidays especially in Istanbul | Travel News | Travel 46

Turkey travel advice has been updated by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the lead up to the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 June as holidaymakers could find themselves swept up in demonstrations.

The FCO have announced the travel warning on their website to caution tourists visiting Turkey.

“Presidential and parliamentary elections will take place on 24 June 2018; this may result in rallies and demonstrations around the country,” they wrote.

“You should avoid large gatherings and follow the advice of the local authorities.”

Holidaymakers should also check if their flights are affected by the elections as disruption could be caused.

“Additional security measures may apply to flights departing from Turkey to the UK,” the FCO state. “You should co-operate fully with security officials.”

Turkey has been viewed as being safer to visit over the last few months as the country recovers from the deadly tourists last year.

In 2017, 39 people lost their lives after a gunman went on a rampage at a upmarket Istanbul nightclub.

The FCO says “terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Turkey” and “it’s likely that some attacks will also target western interests and tourists from western countries, particularly in the major cities”.

Travellers are advised to “remain vigilant” in crowded places and popular areas with tourists.

The most dangerous in countries in Europe have been mapped with Turkey, France and Germany just three of the tourist hotspots where a terror attack is “very likely.”

The FCO advises against all but essential travel to the remaining areas of Sirnak, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Diyarbakir, Kilis and Hatay provinces, plus the areas of Siirt, Tunceli and Hakkari.

Visitors are strictly warned not to travel to within 10km of the border with Syria and to the city of Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey.

Following a political coup on 15-16 July 2016, the security environment remains “political volatile” and a state of emergency is still in place.

The FCO said Turkish authorities “have successfully disrupted attack planning in the recent past” and tightened security after previous incidents.

But visitors are advised to keep up to date with travel advice and to be aware of additional checks in Turkey.

The FCO statement said: “In some busy areas, especially Istanbul, the Turkish authorities are stopping members of the public to conduct ID checks.

“There’s also a larger than usual number of police checkpoints on main roads across Turkey.

“You should co-operate with officials conducting checks, and keep your passport and a printed copy of your e-visa or your residence permit with you at all times.”

More than 1.7 million visits are made to Turkey by British tourists every year, the majority of whom experience no problems whatsoever.

People in need of emergency assistance from the UK government while in Turkey, are advised to contact their nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate.

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