Newsletter (August 23, 2017)

Featured in this quarter’s issue:

  • State of Emergency Extended
  • STEP Registration and U.S. Citizen Wardens
  • Laptop Ban on Flights Lifted
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Travel Publications
  • Voting Overseas
  • Tax Information for U.S. Citizens Living Abroad
  • Where is my refund?
  • Worldwide Caution
  • Holidays
  • Contact Information

You may visit our website at any time to make an appointment or access the latest messages and local resources:
You may view the Department of State’s Country Specific Information on Turkey at:

The State of Emergency 

On July 19, 2017, the government of Turkey extended the state of emergency for the fourth time (SOE), lengthening it until October 19, 2017.  The SOE first commenced on July 20, 2016.  The SOE allows for expanded governmental powers, including detention and questioning of Turkish citizens and foreign nationals.  U.S. citizens should carry identification at all times and make every effort to comply with the instructions and requests of Turkish authorities.

If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or Consulate immediately. See our webpage for further information.  Turkish authorities may not inform U.S. officials of U.S.-Turkish dual nationals arrested in Turkey, and may refuse to allow U.S. officials to visit or provide consular assistance to such individuals arrested in Turkey.

STEP Registration and U.S. Citizen Wardens 

We recommend that all U.S. citizens residing in or visiting Turkey register in the Department of State’s Smart Travel Enrollment Program (STEP).  Enrolling in STEP allows you to receive important information from the Embassy or Consulate about safety conditions in Turkey, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.  It also assists us or your family and friends to contact you in an emergency, whether it is a natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.

U.S. citizen wardens assist the embassy and consulates in Turkey to keep the STEP registration information updated, and may contact you to confirm your details.

Laptop Ban on Flights Lifted 

As of July 7, 2017, personal electronic devices larger than a smartphone may be carried onboard direct flights to the United States from Istanbul Ataturk Airport.  For specific questions about devices allowed on flights, contact your air carrier or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  Below is a link to a DHS Fact Sheet on aviation security enhancements.

DHS Travel Publications

You may find useful these online Department of Homeland Security (DHS) publications that provide information on how much money you can bring into the United States, prohibited items, and what to expect during a Customs and Border Protection (CPB) inspection:

Voting Overseas 

The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) recommends that all overseas U.S. citizens send in a completed Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) early every year.  The FPCA is the registration and ballot request form which is accepted by all states and territories.

You can use the FPCA online assistant, complete the fillable PDF version, or pick up a hard copy version from your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  Be sure your contact information is accurate in case your election office needs to reach you.

If you’d like more information on the Federal Voting Assistance Program or need help with the absentee voting process please go to or call FVAP at 703-588-1584 (toll free 1-800-438-VOTE or DSN 425-1584) or email

Toll-free phone numbers from 67 countries are listed at Find FVAP on Facebook at and follow @FVAP on Twitter.

Tax Information for U.S. Citizens Living Abroad

Publication 54 discusses special tax rules for U.S. citizens and resident aliens who work abroad or who have income earned in foreign countries.

For further information please click on the below IRS link:

IRS “Where is My Refund?” Tool

Taxpayers who have not yet received their income tax refunds can use the “Where’s My Refund?” app to check the status. Find it at or the free IRS mobile app IRS2Go.

Worldwide Caution

The Department of State issued a Worldwide Caution in March that contains information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions, political violence, and criminal activity against U.S. citizens and interests abroad.  The Worldwide Caution may be found at


U.S. Mission offices will be closed on the following U.S. and Turkish holidays:
August 28-29, Monday-Tuesday — Holiday extension
August 30, Wednesday — Victory Day
August 31-September 4, Thursday-Monday — Sacrifice Holiday (From 13:00 on 08/31, Thursday)
September 4, Monday — Labor Day
October 9, Monday — Columbus Day
October 28-29, Saturday-Sunday — Turkish Independence Day (from 13:00 on 10/28)
November 10, Friday — Veterans Day
November 23, Thursday — Thanksgiving Day
December 25, Monday — Christmas Day

Contact Information

Smart Travel Enrollment Program (STEP)

Ankara:  110 Ataturk Boulevard
Tel: (90) (312) 455-5555
Fax: (90) (312) 468-6131

Istanbul:  Poligon Mahallesi, Sarıyer Caddesi, No:75, Istinye 34460 Sarıyer
Tel: (90) (212) 335-9000
Fax: (90) (212) 335-9102

Adana: Girne Bulvari No. 212, Guzelevler Mahallesi, Yuregir
Tel: (90) (322) 455-4100
Fax (90) (322) 455-4141

Izmir Consular Agent

Athens Federal Benefits Unit and Veterans Services
Tel: (30) (210) 720-2426
Fax: (30) (210) 720-0509