Summary

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

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:

  • the remaining areas of Sirnak, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Kilis and Hatay provinces
  • Siirt, Tunceli and Hakkari provinces.

Over 2,500,000 British nationals visit Turkey every year. Most visits are trouble-free.

Visas

British nationals need a visa to travel to Turkey (except for cruise ship passengers with ‘British Citizen’ passports entering the country for a day trip, remaining in the port of embarkation and returning to the ship the same day). If you’re visiting Turkey as a tourist or on business, get an e-Visa online before you travel. Only use the official Republic of Turkey e-Visa website. Avoid unauthorised websites as they may charge an additional fee. Some unauthorised websites have issued fake e-Visas.

If you don’t have an e-Visa you can still get a visa on arrival for £20 in cash, although the visa on arrival service is due to be phased out. Getting an e-Visa from the official website before you travel will avoid possible problems or delays at the Turkish border, or when boarding your flight in the UK. See Entry requirements

Travel insurance

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

First World War commemorations

If you’re travelling to commemorate the First World War centenary, see this information and advice page to help plan your trip and make sure it’s safe and trouble free.

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. Police have used tear gas and water cannon extensively to disperse protests. You should avoid all demonstrations.

Terrorism

There is a high threat from terrorism. On 19 August there was an incident involving gunfire and a sound grenade in an attack on Turkish national police guards stationed outside Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul. On 10 August, 2 people opened fire outside the US Consulate-General in Istanbul. On 27 July there were reports of possible threats to public transport in Istanbul, in particular the metro stations at Yenikapi, Taksim, Osmanbey and Haciosman and stops on the Metrobus line.

Be vigilant, monitor media reports and keep up to date with this travel advice.

The terrorist group DHKP-C (Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party Front) has launched a series of attacks in Istanbul in 2015 targeting the Turkish police and judiciary. On 5 June, two people were killed and many injured by an explosion at an HDP rally in Diyarbakir. On 9 June, 4 people were killed in an attack in Diyarbakir. You should exercise caution.

Border crossings into Syria and nearby locations have also been targeted. On 20 July, a suicide bomber killed 33 people and injured over 100 others in Suruc, Sanlurfa. See Terrorism and the FCO’s travel advice for Syria

Earthquakes

Many parts of Turkey are subject to earthquakes. An earthquake of magnitude 6.5 occurred on 24 May 2014 in the Sea of Marmara. See Natural disasters