Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Demonstrations and Disruptions in Southeast Turkey

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara informs U.S. citizens that public demonstrations are taking place throughout southeast Turkey at varying times and with little advance notice, in response to ongoing fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani.  Violent altercations have occurred in Diyarbakır, Adana, Siirt, Van, Mardin, Mus, Batman, Hakkari, Mersin, and elsewhere.   Turkish authorities have imposed curfews in the following provinces: Diyarbakır, Batman, Mardin, Mus, Surt and Van.  While U.S. citizens have not been the target of recent demonstrations, U.S. citizens should defer travel to these areas until the demonstrations subside.  Protestors and the Turkish National Police have clashed in some locations, and reports indicate that serious altercations have also taken place among protestors with opposing ideologies.  There have been reports of injuries and as many as 18 deaths, including 10 in Diyarbakır.

Turkish authorities have imposed emergency travel restrictions in various districts within Mardin, Van, Siirt, Batman and Diyarbakır provinces.  As part of these restrictions, Turkish authorities advised people not to leave their homes until further notice; restrictions on travel are set to expire at various times and may change depending on developments.  Schools have also been closed for several days.  U.S. citizens in Turkey should follow the media for the most current information on curfews and travel restrictions while in Turkey.  While airports in the region are currently open, commercial airlines have cancelled flights to and from Diyarbakır due to ongoing protests and the inability of passengers to travel to the Diyarbakır airport.  Emergency and public services continue to be provided by the Government of Turkey.

Due to the ongoing security situation in southeastern Turkey and the possibility of spontaneous demonstrations breaking out elsewhere in the country, the U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens to avoid demonstrations, review personal security plans, remain aware of surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates.  Maintain a high level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to enhance personal security, and follow the instructions of local authorities.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Turkey enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Turkey. For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

Contact information for the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Turkey:

  • The U.S. Embassy in Ankara is located at 110 Ataturk Boulevard, tel: (90)(312) 455-5555, fax (90)(312) 468-6131.
  • The U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul is located at 2 Uçsehitler Sokagi, 34460, Istinye, Sariyer, tel: (90) (212) 335-9000, fax (90) (212) 335-9102.
  • The U.S. Consulate in Adana is located at 212 Girne Bulvari, Guzelevler Mahallesi, Yuregir, Adana, Turkey. tel: (90)(322) 346-6262, fax (90)(322) 346-7916.
  • The Consular Agency in Izmir can be reached at tel: (90) (232) 464-8755, fax (90) (232) 464-8916.