This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Travel advice for Arsenal fans travelling to Istanbul for the Beşiktaş v Arsenal match on Tuesday 19 August.
Advice for fans travelling to Turkey for Arsenal’s match with Beşiktaş on 19 August 2014.
Date: 19 August 2014
Venue: Ataturk Olympic Stadium
Kick off time: 21:45 (Local Time)
As well as this advice, check out our travel advice for Turkey.
Passports and visas
British passport holders need a visa to enter Turkey. This can be obtained online in advance from www.evisa.gov.tr, or for £20 at the Visas booth at the airport or border crossing. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after entry.
Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is not valid in Turkey, so travel insurance is essential, even if you’re only going for one night - it could save you a lot of money if you get into difficulties.
It is illegal not to carry some form of photographic ID in Turkey. Carry a photocopy of your passport with you at all times.
If your passport is lost or stolen whilst in Istanbul then you will need to obtain an Emergency travel Document (ETD) from the British Consulate General in Istanbul.
Getting to the stadium
Arsenal Football Club is providing coaches from the city centre to the stadium and return for all Arsenal supporters holding a match ticket (marked VISITORS), these coaches will leave from SULTANAHMET SQUARE opposite the entrance of the HAGIA SOPHIA MUSEUM at 17.30 PROMPT, please arrive at 17.00 to secure your place. (map showing bus departure point)
Istanbul police have highly recommended supporters take the coaches operated by Arsenal FC.
Taxis to the stadium will cost approximately 50-60 Turkish Lira and take 40 minutes (depending on traffic). Make sure the taxi metre is switched on when you set off.
At the match
- Entry to the stadium is through gate R in the South Tribune.
- Access to the stadium can be slow. There will be ticket checks and body searches at the entrance.
- To avoid a last minute bottleneck you should get to the stadium early - doors will open at 17.00 hours.
- Visiting supporters will be kept behind for around 45 minutes after the match to allow the home fans to disperse.
In addition to items which would usually be prohibited in the UK, please note the following restrictions at the stadium:
- No alcohol
- No Flags with poles
- No banners
- No flags or banners that indicate political statements.
- No coins
- No flares or fireworks
- No megaphones or drums
- No food or drinks, bottles, cans or glasses.
- No belts, chains or any objects which can be thrown or used as a weapon
- No lighters
Generally crime levels are low, but street robbery and pick-pocketing are common in the major tourist areas of Istanbul. Only carry what you need and leave spare cash and valuables in hotel safety deposits.
In Turkey it is an offence to insult the Turkish nation or the national flag, or to deface or tear up currency.
Smoking is prohibited on public transport and in other public areas like stadiums, playgrounds, cafes, bars, and restaurants. You can be fined if you are caught smoking in a designated smoke-free area.
We recommend that you purchase bottled water to drink which is readily available from local shops, hotels etc.
Relevant British Consulate-General address and telephone number
British Consulate General, Istanbul
Meşrutiyet Caddesi 34 Tepebaşı, Beyoğlu, Istanbul
0090 212 334 6400
Open to the public
Monday - Friday 09:00 - 12:30
Telephone: 0090 212 334 6400
For out-of-hours emergencies, please phone the number above and follow the instructions given.
Emergency services numbers
Police: 155 Ambulance: 112 Fire brigade: 110
Please be aware of the possibility of demonstrations in Istanbul. Demonstrations regularly take place across Turkey, particularly in the area around Taksim Square in Istanbul. You should remain vigilant and avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place.