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Turkey's Security Condition After A Failed Coup

Istanbul, Turkey

About 265 people were killed in a failed military coup in Turkey on Friday, July 15, 2016, according to a report from The Daily Mail.

On July 17, 2016, the British Foreign Travel Advice Dept. issued the following statement:

The situation in Turkey appears to be calming following an attempted coup overnight on July 15-16. The security environment, however, remains potentially volatile. Following earlier disruption, flights to and from airports in Turkey are returning to normal, although some disruption remains and you should check with your airline or tour operator before travelling. You may need to turn up at the airport earlier than normal to get through the additional security checks in place.

map of Turkey

If you are in Turkey, please follow the advice of the authorities, closely monitor travel advice and contact your airline or tour operator. In Ankara and Istanbul we advise you to avoid public places, in particular demonstrations, and remain vigilant. Take sensible precautions if you are in the vicinity of any military or security forces. Roadblocks are in place in some areas.

Security operations to detain alleged perpetrators continue across the country, with reports of gunfire. We are aware of such action in Konya, Marmaris, Van and at Sabiha Gokcen airport in Istanbul (which remains open and operating as normal). You should continue to exercise caution.

Apart from Marmaris, the coastal resorts do not appear to be significantly affected at present. You should check with your airline or tour operator before travelling to the airport. Continue to exercise vigilance in resort areas.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to within 10 km of the border with Syria and to the city of Diyarbakir.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:

  • the remaining areas of Sirnak, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Diyarbakir, Kilis and Hatay provinces

  • Siirt, Tunceli and Hakkari

Security force operations against the PKK and related groups are ongoing in the Sur district of Diyarbakir. The FCO advise against all travel to the city of Diyarbakir. Similar operations have taken place in Sirnak and Hakkari. You should take extreme care in these areas.

Terrorism

The threat from terrorism remains high. Terrorist groups, including Kurdish groups, Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) and far left organizations, continue to plan and carry out attacks. Further attacks are likely. Terrorist groups, including Daesh and the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), have publicly threatened to attack tourist sites in Turkey. You should take extra care in public places – particularly those visited by foreigners. Be vigilant, follow the advice of local security authorities, monitor media reports and keep up to date with this travel advice.

On January 12, 2016 there was a suicide bomb attack against tourists in Sultanahmet in Istanbul in which 10 people died. On 19 March 2016 a similar attack against tourists on Istiklal St in Istanbul killed 4 people.

On February 17, 2016 a large bomb attack near a military barracks on Eskisehir Road in Ankara killed 28 people. On 13 March 2016, a similar attack killed over 30 people at Kizilay Square in central Ankara.

On April 27, 2016 there was a suspected suicide bomb attack at Bursa Ulu Mosque. The bomber was killed and 7 people slightly injured.

On May 1, 2016 a bomb attack at the Central Police Station in Gaziantep killed two police officers and injured 23 others.

On June 7, 2016 a bomb attack in the Vezneciler area of Istanbul killed 7 police officers and 4 civilians. 36 people were injured.

On June 28, 2016 Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul was attacked. More than 40 people were killed.

Attacks are likely to target the Turkish state, civilians and demonstrations. Nevertheless, it’s increasingly likely that some attacks will also target western interests and tourists from western countries, particularly in the major cities, as was the case in Istanbul on 12 January and 19 March 2016. To date most attacks in Turkey have taken place in the south and east of the country and in Ankara and Istanbul. There is a heightened risk of terrorist attack against the aviation industry in Turkey.

Turkish authorities have successfully disrupted attack planning in the recent past. The Turkish authorities have said that security has been tightened in response to recent attacks. Nevertheless, further attacks are likely, could be indiscriminate and may target or affect places visited by foreigners.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations regularly take place across Turkey, particularly in Istanbul in the area around Taksim Square and in Kadikoy (Asian side), in the Kizilay district of central Ankara and on the waterfront area in central Izmir. Demonstrations often coincide with important national anniversaries and there are likely to be additional security measures in place in major cities on these dates. You should avoid demonstrations and remain vigilant.

Since July 2015, demonstrations have occurred in cities across Turkey associated with renewed hostilities between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Turkish security forces in south-east Turkey. Police have used tear gas and water cannon extensively to disperse protests. You should avoid all demonstrations.

Travel insurance

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

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