Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Nevruz Celebrations

U.S. Embassy Ankara recommends that U.S. citizens maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness during the upcoming March 17-21 Nevruz holidays.

Nevruz is a festival commonly recognized as the Kurdish and Persian New Year which also marks the beginning of spring.  Nevruz has both political and social meanings to celebrants.  In recent years it has been a flashpoint for spontaneous demonstrations.  Public Nevruz observances typically involve large gatherings and roadside bonfires.

Nevruz celebrations are anticipated in cities throughout Turkey from March 17-21.  The Embassy is aware of planned celebrations in the following cities (this list is not comprehensive):

Friday, March 17: Nusaybin
Saturday, March 18: Adana, Bingol, Bursa, Dogubeyazit, Gaziantep, Izmir, Kocaeli, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Siirt, and Tunceli
Sunday March 19: Antalya, Batman, Elazig, Hatay, Istanbul, Kars, Konya, Mardin, Mersin, Urfa, and Yuksekova.
Monday, March 20: Adiyaman, Agri, Bingol, Bitlis, Hakkari, Igdir, Muş, and Sirnak.
Tuesday, March 21: Van and Diyarbakir.

Event dates and locations may change, and additional events may occur spontaneously or unannounced.  Traditionally, the Nevruz celebration in Diyarbakir is the most well-attended event, attracting thousands.

Demonstrations and large events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  We advise U.S. citizens to continue to avoid political gatherings, protests, and demonstrations and to exercise caution if you are in the vicinity of these kinds of events. Develop and review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, monitor local news stations for updates, and follow local authority instructions.

For further detailed information regarding Turkey and travel: