Security Message: Turkey Travel Warning Update
August 29, 2016
The U.S. Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens of increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey and to avoid travel to southeastern Turkey. On August 23, 2016, the Department of State extended voluntary departure of family members assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara and U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul through September 23, 2016. The decision to authorize departure followed an attempted coup and the subsequent declaration of a 90-day state of emergency by the Turkish Government. The decision to approve voluntary departure status was taken, in part, to allow the Department of State to monitor the effects of the July 15 coup attempt and subsequent declaration of a state of emergency on the security situation in the country. The Department continues to monitor the effect of these developments as well as recent terrorist incidents in Ankara, Istanbul, and Gaziantep, recurring threats, a visible increase in police or military activities, and the potential for restrictions on movements. U.S. citizens should carefully consider the need to travel to Turkey at this time. In addition, we have recently experienced delays securing consular access to U.S. citizens, some of whom also possess Turkish citizenship, detained or arrested by security forces. This replaces the Travel Warning dated July 26, 2016.
Foreign and U.S. tourists have been explicitly targeted by international and indigenous terrorist organizations in Turkey. As stated in the Worldwide Caution dated March 3, 2016, extremists throughout Europe have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, aviation services, transportation systems, and public venues where people congregate as well as religious sites and high-profile events. Most recently, they have threatened to kidnap Westerners and U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens are reminded to review personal security plans, monitor local news for breaking events, and remain vigilant at all times.
U.S. Government personnel in Turkey remain subject to travel restrictions in the southeastern provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Sirnak, Diyarbakir, Van, Siirt, Mus, Mardin, Batman, Bingol, Tunceli, Hakkari, Bitlis, and Elazig. U.S. citizens should avoid areas in close proximity to the Syrian border.
The Department of State is also extending its March 29, 2016, ordered departure of family members of U.S. Government personnel posted to the U.S. Consulate in Adana and family members of U.S. Government civilians in Izmir province until September 23, 2016. The U.S. Consulate in Adana remains open and will continue to provide all routine consular services.
For your safety:
- Avoid travel to southeastern Turkey, particularly near the Syrian border.
- Stay away from large crowds, including at popular tourist destinations.
- Exercise heightened vigilance and caution when visiting public access areas, especially those heavily frequented by tourists.
- Stay away from political gatherings and rallies.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities in an emergency.
- Stay at hotels with identifiable security measures in place.
- Monitor local media.
For further detailed information regarding Turkey and travel:
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution,Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Turkey’s Country Specific Information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and help us locate you in an emergency.
- Contact the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, located at 110 Ataturk Boulevard, Kavaklidere, 06100 Ankara, at +90-312-455-5555, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The after-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +90-312-455-5555 or +90-212-335-9000 (U.S. Consulate General Istanbul).
- Contact the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, located at 2 Uçsehitler Sokagi, 34460, Istinye, Sariyer, at +90-212-335-9000.
- Contact the U.S. Consulate in Adana, located at 212 Girne Bulvari, Guzelevler Mahallesi, Yuregir, Adana at +90-322-455-4100.
- Contact the Consular Agency in Izmir at Izmir@state.gov.
- Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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