Is there a high risk of terrorism and violence in Turkey?
After the 2016 suicide bombings at Atatürk International Airport and the nightclub shootings on New Year’s Eve, you may be wondering if it is still safe to visit Istanbul.
The ongoing violence and civil unrest in neighbouring European and Middle Eastern countries have also raised valid security fears for many overseas visitors, and may be causing you to reconsider crossing the Turkey border.
The Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has acknowledged there is a higher perceived threat of terror-related incidents in Turkey. It advises visitors to exercise a high degree of vigilance, particularly in major cities and tourist areas including popular coastal holiday spots near Adana, Antalya and Izmir as well as the capital city Ankara.
The Smart Traveller website also warns that the risk of political instability, civil unrest and violence is still present in many other areas throughout Turkey. In particular, the Syrian border in the south-eastern region of Turkey is currently listed as a ‘Do not travel’ (level 4) zone, and DFAT advises travellers to ‘reconsider your need to travel’ (level 3) to surrounding areas.
Smart Traveller also strongly advises all Australians travelling to Turkey to buy overseas travel insurance that provides unlimited emergency medical and hospital expenses including repatriation.
You may also want to look for a policy that includes additional cover for alternative transport expenses, travel delays, luggage and personal effects, travel documents and credit cards. The Australian Government won’t assist you with these expenses just because you run out of money overseas.