Britain: Travel advice for Turkey


“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Turkey,” the relevant directive states

After the travel instructions posted by Germany, Sweden, France, Italy, as well as the USA, on the evening of Saturday January 28, Britain also followed the same path by posting corresponding instructions for those who intend to travel to Turkey.

In its guidance, GOV.UK warns citizens of possible terrorist attacks in Turkey and states that tourists should consult and obey local authorities, as well as keep themselves informed by the media during their stay, as “Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Turkey.”

GOV.UK’s post:

“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Turkey.
The UK’s Counter-Terrorism Police give advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Learn more about the global threat of terrorism.

Most terrorist attacks occurred in the southeast of the country, in Ankara and Istanbul. There is a possibility that citizens from Western countries will be targeted or caught up in attacks, especially in big cities.

Attacks can be indiscriminate and occur without warning, including in places visited by foreigners, affecting public buildings, places of worship, large events or large public gatherings as well as important religious occasions and public holidays. Very often terrorist groups launch attacks under such conditions.

There is currently an increased threat of terrorist attacks against churches, synagogues, embassies/consulates and other places frequented by Westerners in Istanbul. The British Consulate General in Istanbul is currently not open to the public as a precaution. Turkish authorities are investigating. You should exercise caution and follow the advice of local security authorities, monitor media reports and stay informed of these travel advisories.

If you need consular assistance in Istanbul, you should call the 24-hour helpline on +90 212 334 64 0 and select the option “consular services for British nationals” or send a query via the online contact form.

Previous methods of attack have included armed attacks, suicide bombings, car bombings, rocket attacks, arson and improvised explosive devices left in rubbish bins, busy areas, shops and on public transport. Be careful, monitor media reports and stay up to date with these travel advisories.

There is an increased risk of a terrorist attack against the aviation industry in Turkey. You should fully cooperate with airport security officials.

It is illegal to be a member or supporter of a terrorist organization in Turkey. Some organizations in the region, although not banned in the UK, such as the YPG and the Gülen Movement are illegal in Turkey.

Global threat
There is an increased threat of terrorist attack worldwide against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria, particularly where there is a large tourist presence, including embassies and religious events. You should be careful at this time.

Terrorist groups operating in Syria, including groups linked to Daesh and AQ, routinely use kidnapping as a tactic. They are present in the Syrian border areas and you should be extra careful if you are in these locations. Daesh and other terrorist groups see those involved in humanitarian aid or journalism as legitimate targets. If you are kidnapped, the reason for your presence is unlikely to serve as protection or secure your safe release.

The long-standing policy of the British government is not to make substantial concessions to hostages. The British government believes that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners builds the capacity of terrorist groups and funds their activities. This may, in turn, increase the risk of further hostage taking. The Terrorism Act (2000) makes payments to terrorists illegal.”

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