Travel advice to Britons going to Turkey
The Foreign Office has provided new travel advice following an attempted coup by members of the military.
Government officials have relaxed travel advice after the situation in Turkey is seen to be calming, but say visitors shoud still avoid public places in Ankara and Istanbul, particularly as demonstrations are occurring.
Britons had previously been advised to stay indoors after a faction of some 6,000 members of the military and judicial system tried to oust Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday.
Some 265 people were killed in clashes between soldiers and supporters of the president.
In the latest travel advice the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is telling tourists that 'the situation in Turkey appears to be calming following an attempted coup overnight on 15-16 July'.
Officials said: "The security environment, however, remains potentially volatile. Following earlier disruption, flights to and from airports in Turkey are returning to normal, although some disruption remains and you should check with your airline or tour operator before travelling. You may need to turn up at the airport earlier than normal to get through the additional security checks in place.
"If you are in Turkey, please follow the advice of the authorities, closely monitor travel advice and contact your airline or tour operator. In Ankara and Istanbul we advise you to avoid public places, in particular demonstrations, and remain vigilant. Take sensible precautions if you are in the vicinity of any military or security forces. Roadblocks are in place in some areas."
Security operations to detain alleged perpetrators continue across the country, with reports of gunfire today, added the government department.
"We are aware of such action in Konya, Marmaris, Van and at Sabiha Gokcen airport in Istanbul (which remains open and operating as normal). You should continue to exercise caution," said their release tot he public.
Apart from Marmaris, the coastal resorts do not appear to be significantly affected at present. You should check with your airline or tour operator before travelling to the airport. Continue to exercise vigilance in resort areas.
The FCO also advise against all travel to within 10 km of the border with Syria and to the city of Diyarbakir.
The threat of terrorism is Turkey also remains high after six incidents so far this year. The FCO outlined:
- On 12 January 2016 there was a suicide bomb attack against tourists in Sultanahmet in Istanbul in which 10 people died. On 19 March 2016 a similar attack against tourists on Istiklal St in Istanbul killed 4 people.
- On 17 February 2016 a large bomb attack near a military barracks on Eskisehir Road in Ankara killed 28 people. On 13 March 2016, a similar attack killed over 30 people at Kizilay Square in central Ankara.
- On 27 April 2016 there was a suspected suicide bomb attack at Bursa Ulu Mosque. The bomber was killed and 7 people slightly injured.
- On 1 May 2016 a bomb attack at the Central Police Station in Gaziantep killed two police officers and injured 23 others.
- On 7 June 2016 a bomb attack in the Vezneciler area of Istanbul killed 7 police officers and 4 civilians. 36 people were injured.
- On 28 June 2016 Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul was attacked. More than 40 people were killed.
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to: Sirnak, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Diyarbakir, Kilis and Hatay provinces Siirt, Tunceli and Hakkari.
Over 2,500,000 British nationals visit Turkey every year. It’s generally safe to travel but people should take additional safety precautions. You should be alert to your surroundings and remain vigilant in crowded places popular with tourists.
Turkish authorities have successfully disrupted attack planning in the recent past. The Turkish authorities have said that security has been tightened in response to recent attacks. Nevertheless, further attacks are likely, could be indiscriminate and may target or affect places visited by foreigners.
British Airways says it is flying a reduced schedule to Turkey on Sunday, but warned of possible delays.
Thomas Cook is running flights as normal and is offering free amendments and cancellations to customers due to travel on Sunday
Easyjet, Thomson, Turkish Airlines and Monarch say they are operating schedules as usual, whilst monitoring events