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Travel Warning for Turkey

Travel Warning for Turkey Featured Image

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