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.
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, you’ll need to get an e-Visa online before you travel. Only use the official e-Visa website. Avoid unauthorised websites as they may charge an additional fee.
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 before you travel will avoid possible problems or delays at the Turkish border, or when boarding your flight in the UK. See Entry requirements
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 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.
The weekend of 30 May marks the 2nd anniversary of the Gezi Park protests and demonstrations are expected in Istanbul: on 30 May in Karakoy and on 31 May in Gezi Park and Besiktas. A number of political rallies are also planned for 30-31 May including in the Yenikapa and Kazlicesme districts of Istanbul. Be vigilant and avoid all demonstrations.
There is a high threat from terrorism in Turkey and there are active terrorist groups throughout the country. These include domestic religious extremist and ideological groups, and international groups involved in the conflict in Syria. Attacks could be indiscriminate and could affect places visited by foreigners.
The Turkish Government has highlighted the increased risk of attacks in the run-up to the Turkish General Election on 7 June. 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.
Border crossings into Syria and nearby locations have also been targeted. On 16 September 2014, there was a car bomb explosion near a garage in Al-Salameh, Syria, 1km south of the Bab Al-Salameh border crossing point between Turkey and Syria . See Terrorism and the FCO’s travel advice for Syria
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