VICTORIA MEDIA

Victoria Media – Further Edition

Foreign Office advises Britons in Turkey to stay indoors

There has been large scale military action in Turkey, with the military deployed to the streets and widespread reports of gunfire and explosions in Ankara and Istanbul. The situation now appears quieter in Istanbul, and the bridges across the Bosphorus are re-opening. But there are reports of tank fire and small arms fire in Ankara. Some flights to airports in Turkey are being diverted or cancelled. The road between Marmaris and Icmeler remains closed, following earlier reports of gunfire between the resorts of Marmaris and Icmeler.

We strongly advise you to stay indoors, avoid public places, in particular demonstrations, and remain vigilant. Avoid areas of conflict and take sensible precautions if you are in the vicinity of any military or security forces. Roadblocks are in place in some areas. There are reports that social media websites are blocked.

If you are at an airport in Turkey, please follow the advice of the authorities and contact your airline or tour operator.

If you are due to travel to or from Turkey over the next few days, you should closely monitor our travel advice and check with your airline or tour operator before travelling.

British nationals requiring urgent consular assistance in Turkey can contact the Foreign Office on 0207 008 0000.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to within 10 km of the border with Syria and to the city of Diyarbakir.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:

  • the remaining areas of Sirnak, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Diyarbakir, Kilis and Hatay provinces
  • Siirt, Tunceli and Hakkari

Security force operations against the PKK and related groups are ongoing in the Sur district of Diyarbakir. The FCO advise against all travel to the city of Diyarbakir. Similar operations have taken place in Sirnak and Hakkari. You should take extreme care in these areas. See Safety and security

Over 2,500,000 British nationals visit Turkey every year. It’s generally safe to travel but you should take additional safety precautions. You should be alert to your surroundings and remain vigilant in crowded places popular with tourists.

Terrorism

The threat from terrorism remains high. Terrorist groups, including Kurdish groups, Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) and far left organisations, continue to plan and carry out attacks. Further attacks are likely. Terrorist groups, including Daesh and the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), have publicly threatened to attack tourist sites in Turkey. You should take extra care in public places – particularly those visited by foreigners. Be vigilant, follow the advice of local security authorities, monitor media reports and keep up to date with this travel advice.

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.

Attacks are likely to target the Turkish state, civilians and demonstrations. Nevertheless, it’s increasingly likely that some attacks will also target western interests and tourists from western countries, particularly in the major cities, as was the case in Istanbul on 12 January and 19 March 2016. To date most attacks in Turkey have taken place in the south and east of the country and in Ankara and Istanbul. There is a heightened risk of terrorist attack against the aviation industry in Turkey.

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.