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Turkey Travel Warning

The U.S. Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens of increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey.

U.S. citizens should avoid travel to southeast Turkey and carefully consider the risks of travel to and throughout the  country. The U.S. Department of State is updating this Travel Warning to reflect the September 23, 2016 decision to end the authorization for the voluntary departure of family members of employees posted to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara and the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, which was made following the July 15, 2016 attempted coup. In addition, effective September 24, 2016, the Department of State is ending the ordered departure of family members of U.S. government personnel posted to the Consulate in Adana and family members of U.S. government civilians in Izmir. The Department of State will authorize employed adult dependents (21 year or older) of employees to return to Adana.

U.S. citizens should still carefully consider the need to travel to Turkey at this time. The Department continues to monitor the effects of the ongoing State of Emergency; recent terrorist incidents in Ankara, Istanbul, Gaziantep, and throughout the Southeast; recurring threats; visible increases in police or military activities; and the potential for restrictions on movement as they relate to the safety and well-being of U.S. citizens in Turkey. Delays securing consular access to U.S. citizens detained or arrested by security forces, some of whom also possess Turkish citizenship, continue. 

This replaces the Travel Warning dated August 29, 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 September 9, 2016, in the past year, extremists have carried out attacks in France, Belgium, Germany, and Turkey. European authorities continue to warn of additional attacks on major events, tourist sites, restaurants, commercial centers, places of worship, and the transportation sector. Most recently, extremists have threatened to kidnap and assassinate 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. In particular, the U.S. Mission to Turkey may prohibit movements by its personnel to these areas on short notice for security reasons, including threats and demonstrations. Finally, due to recent acts of violence, such as the August 20 suicide bombing in Gaziantep, the September 12 bombing in Van, and the potential for reprisal attacks due to continued Turkish military activity in Syria, U.S. citizens are urged to defer travel to large, urban centers near the Turkish/Syrian border.

For your safety:

  • Avoid travel to southeastern Turkey, in particular large, urban centers near the Turkish/Syrian border.
  • Stay away from large crowds, including at popular tourist destinations. 
  • Exercise heightened vigilance and caution when visiting public 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:

Read more.