U.S. Consulate General Istanbul informs U.S. citizens of news reports of demonstrations throughout Istanbul today following the death this morning of Berkin Elvan, a teenage bystander who was hit in the head by a gas canister fired by police during the Gezi Park protests and was comatose for 268 days. While exact location(s) and number of demonstrators are unknown at this time, protest activity is anticipated in and around Taksim Square and the Okmeydanı Hospital starting immediately.
Demonstrations are also expected tomorrow surrounding the funeral service, which will take place at 12:00 pm on Wednesday, March 12 at Okmeydani Cemevi. The funeral procession will then walk to Ferikoy cemetery from Sisli Square at 3:00 pm You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings or protests.
U.S. citizens are reminded that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. 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.
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, http://travel.state.gov, which contains the 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, 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.