Is it safe to travel to Turkey? Government’s new advice following strike on Iran

If you’re looking to visit Turkey, it’s important to familiarise yourself with recent travel advice.

The Foreign Office updated its guidelines after a US airstrike hit Iran.

General Qasem Soleimani was killed in the attack, which has led to an outbreak of protests in the country.

These tensions could impact on the countries that border Iran.

So the government has urged British visitors to “remain vigilant” when they’re visiting Turkey.

In guidelines that were updated on January 4, the Foreign Office warns: “Following the death of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a US strike in Baghdad on 3 January, British nationals in the region should remain vigilant and keep up to date with the latest developments, including via the media and this travel advice.”

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This isn’t the only travel warning issued by the government.

The FCO “advises against all travel to areas within 10km of the border with Syria, except the city of Kilis.”

This is because there are tensions along the Turkish border due to the country’s military operation in north-eastern Syria.

Terrorism is another threat, with the government warning that attacks “are very likely”.

These incidents tend to target civilians and demonstrations, but it’s still important to remain vigilant.

The FCO adds: “Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Turkey.

“Terrorist groups, including Kurdish groups, Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) and far left organisations, continue to plan and carry out attacks.

“Further attacks could be indiscriminate.

“Most attacks have taken place in the south-east of the country, and in Ankara and Istanbul.

“While there is a potential that citizens from western countries may be targets or caught up in attacks, particularly in the major cities, attacks are most likely to target the Turkish state, civilians and demonstrations.

“You should be vigilant, follow the advice of local security authorities, monitor media reports and keep up to date with this travel advice.”

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Brits travelling to Turkey are required to bring a visa if they plan to stay for more than 72 hours.

While the government’s warnings don’t make for easy reading, holidaymakers shouldn’t worry too much if they follow guidelines.

The FCO adds: “British nationals made over 2.3 million visits to Turkey in 2018.

“Most visits are trouble free.

“Be alert to your surroundings and remain vigilant in crowded places popular with foreign nationals, including during festival periods.”

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