Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Nevruz Celebrations March 21, 2015

U.S. Embassy Ankara informs U.S. citizens that Nevruz holiday celebrations are expected to take place this Saturday, March 21 and throughout the weekend in Turkey.  Nevruz is a festival commonly recognized as the Kurdish and Persian New Year and a celebration marking the beginning of spring.  Although this year’s festivities are expected to be peaceful, all U.S. citizens should be aware of their surroundings and remain vigilant in their personal security while out and about this weekend.  Public Nevruz observances typically involve roadside bonfires in addition to mass celebrations. In Istanbul, the main celebration gathering area is the Kazlıçeşme neighborhood of Zeytinburnu District.  The Turkish National Police have already taken security measures to ensure public order is maintained throughout the city during this celebration.

U.S. citizens are reminded to exercise caution in the vicinity of large gatherings, as even peaceful gatherings can turn confrontational. Review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security, and follow instructions of local authorities.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens and nationals traveling to or residing in Turkey enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). U.S. citizens and nationals without Internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  Enrolling ensures you receive updated safety and security information about areas abroad and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to contact you or your designated contact in case of emergency.

Please check the Country Specific Information Sheet for Turkey for further security guidance.  For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.  Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling +1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or a regular toll line at +1-202-501-4444 for callers 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).

You can also stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.

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

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara is located at 110 Ataturk Boulevard, Kavaklıdere, 06100 Ankara, tel: (90)(312) 455-5555, fax (90)(312) 468-6131.

The U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul is located at İstinye Mahallesi, Üç Şehitler Sokak No.2, İstinye 34460, İstanbul, tel: (90)(212) 335-9000, fax (90)(212) 335-9102.

The U.S. Consulate in Adana is located at 212 Girne Boulevard, Guzelevler Mahallesi, Yüregir, Adana, 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.