Turkey: Official Advice: High Degree of Caution

hozint, DiplomaticWire

Latest advice, 31 Mar 2016
We continue to receive information that indicates that terrorists may be planning attacks in Turkey which could take place at any time. Further attacks in urban centres are expected. We now advise Australians to reconsider their need to travel to Ankara and Istanbul due to the high threat of terrorist attack. We continue to advise Australians to exercise a high degree of caution in Turkey overall. Higher levels apply in some parts of Turkey.

Warnings by area

Map of Turkey

Advice levels
Turkey overall, exercise a high degree of caution

– Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media about possible new safety or security risks.

– Ankara and Istanbul, reconsider your need to travel
– Provinces of Batman, Bingol, Bitlis, Gaziantep, Hakkari, Hatay, Kilis, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sirnak, Tunceli and Van, reconsider your need to travel
Think seriously about whether you need to travel here due to the high level of risk. If you do travel, do your research and take a range of extra safety precautions, including having contingency plans.

– Areas within 10 kilometres of the border with Syria, Diyarbakir, do not travel
We advise against all travel here due to the very high risk.

Summary

Avoid travelling to Ankara and Istanbul because of the high threat of terrorist attack. Sources talking about possible new security risks.

  • We continue to receive information that indicates that terrorists may be planning attacks in Turkey which could take place at any time. Tourist areas and locations frequented by foreigners have been attacked. Further attacks in urban centers are expected.
  • Do not consider traveling to any area within 50 kilometres of Turkey’s border with Syria and don’t travel within 10 kilometres of the border with Syria or to the city of Diyarbakir due to the threat of terrorist attack and kidnapping associated with the ongoing conflict in Syria. Turkish security forces have a strong presence in these border areas.
  • There is an increased threat of kidnapping in the regions bordering Syria. Terrorist groups operating in Syria and Iraq have demonstrated their capability and inclination to kidnap and murder westerners. These groups have the capability to extend their operations across the border into Turkey.
  • There has been a significant influx of refugees into Turkey from Syria and Iraq. There are currently an estimated two million refugees in Turkey. You should be aware of the potential for conflict between refugees and locals throughout Turkey and exercise particular caution at times of heightened tensions.
  • Do not consider travelling to all areas within the southeastern provinces of Batman, Bingol, Bitlis, Gaziantep, Hakkari, Hatay, Kilis, Mardin, Mus, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sirnak, Tunceli and Van, due to the unpredictable security situation. The situation is more dangerous at night and in rural areas.
  • Protests have occurred sporadically in major cities in Turkey since May 2013. There were several violent attacks on the offices of political parties during the lead up to the 7 June 2015 elections. Further disturbances are possible in response to political developments. These may form without warning and quickly turn violent.
  • There has been an increase in the number of violent sexual assaults against female tourists travelling alone or in small groups in popular tourist areas of Turkey, including in Istanbul and coastal resort areas such as Antalya.
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