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Travel Warning for Turkey Thumbnail

Travel Warning for Turkey

We provide travel medical insurance to mission teams to Turkey.  Recently the US State Department issued the below warning:

The Embassy advises U.S. citizens that we have recently added the provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, and ?anl?urfa to the list of provinces in southeast Turkey for which special permission is required for any necessary official or unofficial travel by U.S. government employees. The other restricted provinces are ??rnak, Diyarbak?r, Van, Siirt, Mu?, Mardin, Batman, Bingöl, Tunceli, Hakkâri, Bitlis and Elazi?. U.S government employees are required to take special precautions when traveling in these provinces, to include consulting with local security officials on current threats. If road travel is necessary, drive only during daylight hours and on major highways. The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens that the situation in southeast Turkey, while usually calm, can change without warning. Over the past several months, provinces in southeast Turkey have experienced a substantial increase in terrorist attacks and kidnappings. Turkish towns located directly along the border with Syria have also been struck by bullets and artillery rounds originating in Syria, with some resulting in deaths or injuries.

In addition to the well-known, longstanding threat from terrorists associated with Kongra-Gel (KGK, also known as PKK), other violent extremists have transited Turkey en route to Syria. Therefore, we recommend that U.S. citizens take care in meetings with individuals claiming to represent the Syrian opposition movement.

We remind U.S. citizens traveling to the southeastern part of Turkey or residing in Turkey to provide their contact and next- of-kin information through the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. For additional information, please refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad.”

U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Turkey for business or pleasure typically enjoy a richly rewarding and safe experience. Nevertheless, we encourage all U.S. citizens to pay attention to local news media and the advice of Turkish authorities, and to maintain a modest and respectful demeanor throughout Turkey. The Department of State advises all U.S. citizens abroad to take prudent steps to ensure personal safety: remain vigilant and aware of surroundings, listen to news reports, avoid crowds and demonstrations, and vary times and routes for all travel.

Copyright © 2012, U.S. Department of State

US State Department Travel Warning for Belize Thumbnail

US State Department Travel Warning for Belize

SOURCE: U.S. Department of State

Author: Adam Bates

This Security Message is to inform U.S. citizens residing and traveling in Belize of ongoing threats of crime and an increase in sexual assaults in Belize. The crime threat in Belize is high. Random and organized crime is endemic throughout the country. U.S. citizens have not been singled out by reason of their nationality, but are subject to the same threat as all other persons in Belize. As always, we remind you to take normal precautions to ensure your personal security.

There has been an increase in sexual assaults in Belize. While the primary targets have been younger females walking alone at night, assaults have also occurred during home invasions. U.S. citizens should also be vigilant while driving on the Intelco/Mountain View hill in Belmopan. Local criminals target vehicles traveling up this hill at night and surprise the occupants and rob/assault them. In the most recent incident, a couple was robbed and assaulted, and their vehicle stolen.

Although the majority of reported incidents occur in Belize City, crime may occur anywhere including tourist destinations such as San Pedro Town (Ambergris Caye), Caye Caulker, and Placencia. Exercise caution and good situational awareness in all areas of Belize. Visitors to tourist attractions should travel in groups and stick to the main plazas at Maya ruins. While many theft victims are unharmed and only robbed of personal belongings and cash, victims who resist assailants have suffered injury. U.S. citizens who become victims of a robbery should report it immediately at the nearest police station as well as notifying the U.S. Embassy.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet web site at, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings, and health information resources can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1.888.407.4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada or, for inquirers in other areas, by calling a regular toll line at 1.202.501.4444. These numbers are available from 8:00am to 8:00pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

U.S. citizens living in or traveling to Belize are encouraged to enroll with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) website at: By enrolling, U.S. citizens can obtain updated information on travel and security within Belize, and make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll in person directly with the U.S. Embassy.

Copyright © 2012, U.S. Department of State

US State Department Travel Warning for Kazakhstan Thumbnail

US State Department Travel Warning for Kazakhstan

by Adam Bates

Following recent events in Western Kazakhstan, such as the September 5 explosion in Atyrau, the U.S. Mission Kazakhstan encourages U.S. citizens resident in, or traveling to, Western Kazakhstan to remain vigilant. Although previous violent activity has primarily been directed towards Kazakhstani governmental entities, it is possible that this focus could shift to other targets.

The U.S. Mission Kazakhstan recommends that all U.S. citizens resident in Kazakhstan register with the Consular Sections in Astana and Almaty either online through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), or in person during American Citizen Services (ACS) hours. Further information can be found online at By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

We remind U.S. citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. Please avoid areas where demonstrations occur or are planned and exercise caution if within the vicinity of any large gatherings. Please stay current with media coverage of local events, be aware of your surroundings, and practice personal security awareness at all times.

U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Department of State’s, Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information can be found. The U.S. Embassy also encourages U.S. citizens to review “A Safe Trip Abroad,” which includes valuable security information for those living and traveling abroad.

Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. You can also download our free Smart Traveler App available through iTunes and the Android market to have travel information at your fingertips. In addition to information on the internet, travelers may obtain the latest information on security conditions by calling 1.888.407.4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or outside the United States and Canada on a regular toll line at 1.202.501.4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

For further information, U.S. citizens may telephone the United States Embassy Astana at 7.7172.70.21.00 or for after-hours emergencies 8.7172.70.22.00 or the U.S. Consulate General Almaty at 7.727.250.49.00 (you may use the same number for after-hours emergencies).

Copyright © 2012, U.S. Department of State

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Travel Warning for Burkina Faso Thumbnail

Travel Warning for Burkina Faso

The U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou warns all U.S. citizens against traveling to the northern areas of the country, and to exercise caution when traveling to remote and border areas. You should also remain vigilant and pay attention to your surroundings at all times when traveling in Burkina Faso.

Kidnapping remains a threat in the northern areas of the country bordering Mali and Niger. Due to ongoing security concerns in the these areas, the U.S. Embassy deems the area north of the road stretching from Djibo to Dori off-limits to official government travelers unless prior authorization for such travel is expressly given. There have been no known terrorist incidents (bombings, hijackings, or kidnappings) directed against foreigners in Burkina Faso; however, the al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) terrorist organization and their affiliates could target westerners in the porous border regions of the north, near Mali and Niger. The Sahel region of Burkina Faso is extremely remote, and the ability of the Government of Burkina Faso and the Embassy to render assistance in the event of an emergency there is limited.

Insurance Services of America recommends –

If you are traveling to Mali, Niger or Burkina Faso, then we recommend contacting your international insurance agent and review your medical, life, Accidental Death and Kidnap and Ransom insurance benefits.  If there is a threat of you or your family members being abducted or kidnapped, then review your security profile, itinerary and contingency plans in case there is an unforeseen emergency.  A few websites which offer international insurance are and Read More »

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South Africa – Transportation Strike

The Consulate General informs U.S. citizens to be cautious on all roadways during the transportation strike. In particular, the areas of the Cape Town Airport approach/N2 and the Borchard’s Quarry/N2 intersections have been areas of recent violence to include vehicles being stoned and set on fire.

U.S. citizens are reminded to remain alert and take appropriate precautions. We encourage you to monitor local media for updates on traffic disruptions, roadblocks, and potential protests. Keep in mind toll plazas can become congested because of delays caused by strikes. It is prudent to plan alternate routes and have them available in the event they are necessary. Read More »