Turkey, which was once the center of the Ottoman Empire, is currently a mingling of civilizations. Combine its historical cities with miles upon miles of dazzling shoreline, amazing natural vistas to explore, and really friendly people, and you get an incredibly cool cocktail of a country.
However, there have recently been certain concerns, primarily related to the situation in Syria and the subsequent terrorist acts. These have occurred on a consistent basis up until 2017.
These have occurred on a consistent basis up until 2017.
Is Turkey safe to travel? It’s an excellent question, and we want to address it with this comprehensive insider’s guide on staying safe in Turkey. We aim to provide you the greatest advice because at The TravelRaval, we’re all about sensible travel.
Travel Advisory for Turkey
We’ll be covering a lot of ground. It is reasonable that you might be preparing for a family trip to Turkey and that you are concerned about safety. Alternatively, you might desire to travel to Turkey alone as a female and be unsure of what to anticipate. Whatever your plans are, our insider guide to keeping safe in Turkey can assist you. Here’s the Turkey travel advisory for you –
Safety and security – There is a travel advisory against traveling anywhere within 10 kilometers of the Syrian border. Also you need to avoid visiting Sirnak unless absolutely necessary.
- The risk of terrorism in the area is still high and fighting is still going on in parts of Syria that are close to the Turkish border.
- Roads in Hatay province leading to the border may be closed due to the ongoing conflict in Syria.
- You must avoid traveling to the province of Hakkari.
- For the moment, the region around Mount Ararat is under Turkish military restriction. If you plan to visit this region, exercise additional caution, stay current with local news, and respect the authorities’ instructions.
Political unrest – Turmoils are prevalent in Turkey. At times they become violent. Here are certain things that you must know –
- All around Turkey, there are sporadic protests that occasionally turn violent.
- In the past, Taksim Square and Istiklal Street have been the focal points of protests in Istanbul.
- The protests in Ankara have primarily occurred in the Kizilay neighborhood in the city center, close to the Turkish Parliament.
- If a protest starts, you should leave the area immediately.
- Protests have been widely dispersed by police using water cannons and tear gas.
- Tear gas can be felt hundreds of meters away from the protest scene.
- Following an attempted coup in July 2016, the situation in Turkey has normalized.
Crime – In general, crime rates are low, however pickpocketing and street robberies are frequent in Istanbul’s main tourist districts. In addition –
- Understand your limits if you plan to drink. Drinks are frequently stronger than those offered there.
- Purchase your own drinks and keep track of them at all times to ensure they are not spiked.
- Avert people who approach you and offer you potentially drugged food and drink, money exchanges, rides to restaurants or clubs, or other services.
- Even when they were stored in the villa safe, passports have been taken from leased villas. This is a specific issue in the regions of Fethiye/Hisaronu/Ovacik, Didim, Safi, and Kokko and Kalkan.
- The US diplomatic office in Turkey received 30 reports of sexual assault incidents in 2019, including rape.
- The majority of these cases happened in popular seaside tourist locations over the summer vacation time.
- Numerous crimes were committed in the wee hours of the morning by someone the victim had just met.
- Never take a ride from an unfamiliar person. Before boarding a registered yellow taxi, make a note of the registration number.
- Quite infrequently, travelers have died as a result of drinking counterfeit alcohol.
- Consult your tour company or the Turkish government for advice if you have any questions.
Road Travel – Be cautious when driving in Turkey, especially at night. Follow the directions of security agents as you approach checkpoints gently. In general –
- Although the roads between the big cities are often in excellent condition, they can be in poor condition in isolated, rural areas.
- Accidents occur often and are typically caused by negligent or irresponsible driving.
- Driving in Turkey requires either an International Driving Permit or a notarized copy of your UK/USA driver’s license.
- You must change your UK/USA driver’s license into a Turkish one if you want to stay in Turkey continuously for more than six months.
- Provisional driving licenses are not accepted.
- In Turkey, renting a motorcycle larger than 50cc requires a normal motorcycle license of the “A” category.
- Motorbikes under 50 cc can only be driven with a license in the “A1” category, which is designated for “light motorcycles.”
- A helmet is a legal requirement. A large fine could be assessed for failure to do so.
- You should not drink and drive.
- If you are caught driving while intoxicated, the police issue you a ticket right away, and take your license away for six months.
- Driving is only permitted in Turkey with a green card.
Air Travel – Terrorist attacks on Turkey’s aviation sector are more likely than usual. look at terrorism. Do the needful –
- At airports, you must fully cooperate with security personnel.
- The safety of certain airlines cannot be recommended by the FCDO. The International Air Transport Association does, however, provide a list of registered airlines that have undergone audits and been deemed to comply with a variety of operational safety requirements and best practices.
Sports of extreme difficulty – If you engage in extreme sports, such as hot air ballooning, white-water rafting, paragliding, or parasailing, be sure that all necessary safety measures are taken. In addition –
- Use only trustworthy operators and insist on training prior to use.
- Check that all of the activities you plan to engage in are covered by your travel insurance. Extreme sports have wounded and killed British citizens.
Stray animals – The majority of towns and cities have stray dogs. In addition –
- Be cautious, keep your cool, and stay away from stray dogs.
- If you are bitten, seek medical attention because rabies and other animal-borne diseases are present in Turkey.
Safest Places To Visit In Turkey
Is it safe to travel to Turkey? Not all areas of Turkey are secure, as we’ve already mentioned. We’ve listed the absolute best (and safest) areas, as well as the no-go zones, to make your travel planning a little easier.
Of all the Turkish cities, Istanbul is without a doubt the best in terms of lodging. Istanbul is the home to some of Turkey’s most well-known tourist attractions, so a vacation to Turkey isn’t complete without going there. Istanbul is a vibrant, multicultural city split in two by the Bosporus Strait. If you’re traveling on a budget and visiting Istanbul, you could take a boat excursion around the strait to get some excellent views of the city and to relax on the water.
Bodrum, which is located on Turkey’s Mediterranean Sea coast, is well known for its clean waters and a wide variety of beach activities. It also features an underwater archaeology museum! There are many inexpensive inns, hostels, and Airbnbs. In reality, Bodrum has some of Turkey’s most affordable hotels! If you’re hoping to party on the beach in Bodrum, you’re in luck! The Reef Beach Bar, the White House Bar, and the Mandalin are just a few of the fantastic bars that are located directly on the water. There are a tonne of alternatives available, from elegant and refined to wild and rowdy!
Cappadocia is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. Even celebrities, like Mel Gibsons and Dwayne Johnson visit this area. Cappadocia is fortunately one of the safest places in the nation, which is good news for everyone who has it on their bucket list to visit. I traveled to many towns and cities in Turkey, but Cappadocia was by far the safest place I felt. It is such a popular tourist site that you may find a cave hotel, restaurant, excursion store, or souvenir shop almost anywhere you look. Aside from Antalya, this is the only area where I felt secure enough to dress in mid-length dresses and skirts. If you are traveling to Turkey, you can travel with confidence knowing that this region is safe, reasonably priced, and wholly worthwhile.
Antalya is another well-known seaside town. Antalya, located in southern Turkey, is a popular destination for Russian travelers wishing to unwind, tan, and explore.I had a great time exploring this region! We remained in Kaleici (the Old Town) on our first day in Antalya, wandered around, and shot as many photos as we could to send to the family (especially of all the cats). We liked this neighborhood’s small eateries and thought that it had a great nightlife for tourists. After that, we headed to an all-inclusive resort on the water where we stayed to swim and sunbathe before the real adventure started. I’ll admit that the only activity we engaged in following check-in at the hotel was to lounge on a couple well-known beaches I had been longing to visit (particularly Mermerli Beach), but I believe we would have recommended it regardless! This means that Antalya is a vacation destination similar to Bodrum in terms of safety and sand if you’re a beach bum, sun worshiper, or all-inclusive vacation junkie.
Safety Tips For Traveling to Turkey
Is Turkey a safe country? Turkey may be on the rocks as a result of terrorist attacks and civil unrest, but it is slowly rebuilding itself into the tourism empire it once was. Here are some safety recommendations for Turkey to assist you.
- Avoid participating in political demonstrations.
- Never flash money, expensive jewelry, or expensive clothing while you’re out and about.
- Scams occur in all different kinds and sizes, but ultimately, the old adage “don’t talk to strangers” applies.
- Keep your belongings near to you in tourist locations.
- Learn a few Turkish words and phrases for yourself.
- Carry your hotel/guesthouse/business hostel’s card with you.
- Don’t offend the Turkish government.
- Protect yourself from mosquitoes, which can be particularly bothersome in coastal settings.
- Don’t do drugs – it’s against the law.
- It is illegal to take pictures of military sites.
- You don’t want to upset anyone, so learn about mosque etiquette.
- Public shows of affection are inappropriate in Turkey.
- Watch the news, stay away from large gatherings and religious events.
- Be cautious when it comes to terrorist strikes.
- Certain destinations may be more conservative than Istanbul and beach resorts.
- Turkey may get extremely hot during the summer, so drink plenty of water and protect yourself from the sun.
- Never agree to anything’s initial price since it is always inflated.
- Avoid consuming excessive amounts of alcohol because some of it may be stronger than usual. In Turkey, fake alcohol is a common occurrence.
- Be cautious of stray dog packs, especially in urban areas.
How Safe is Turkey for Tourists?
Turkey is a cool country. There are a variety of cultures all over the country, especially in Istanbul, which straddles Europe and Asia. There are also beach resorts and a tonne of wonderful natural features, like the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia.
However, not all of Turkey would be considered to be completely safe. The security of Turkey has recently been endangered by the Syrian border, terrorist attacks, and clashes with the Kurds.
It would be unfortunate if travelers choose not to visit Turkey due to the situation in Syria. There is a whole nation to explore here. Most importantly, tourism benefits Turkey and aids in maintaining its stability.
Simply told, it is highly safe to travel to Turkey.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Particularly if you stay in the tourist regions, Turkey is a rather safe country. You might encounter issues with harassment, minor theft, and taxi scams, but you won’t likely suffer any significant harm.
Although we always urge caution and suggest you travel wisely, especially in big cities, we believe that Turkey is a safe country to visit.
There are some places you should really avoid visiting. It is not safe anywhere within 10 kilometers of the Syrian border. Diyarbakir is likewise prohibited.
Turkey is absolutely safe for solitary tourists, although staying alert at all times will benefit. Follow recent news, communicate with family and friends back home, and most importantly, make new friends with other travelers as you go.
Well, regardless of what anyone thinks, many women do visit Turkey alone. Turkey is typically secure for female visitors traveling alone, yet there are always risks when doing so anywhere in the world.
If you’re considering it, here are some suggestions for a little more security.
Say “no” without fear.
It’s stupid to wander about alone after dark.
Dressing conservatively is generally the best option.
Taking a guided tour is a wise decision.
Catcalling frequently occurs.
When entering a mosque, cover your head with a shawl or scarf.
Families are particularly important in Turkish culture, and kids are very popular among locals. Families can travel safely to Turkey for this and many other reasons.
Don’t worry if a waiter, a native, or a tour guide scoops up your kid without asking and starts swinging them around to show them off to everyone. This is rather typical and demonstrates the Turkish people’s warmth and concern for children more than anything else.
Driving is a convenient and safe method to navigate across Turkey and take in the sights at your own pace.
Hailing an Uber is safe in the country. Apparently, it is only available in Ankara and Istanbul.
Also Check: Is Costa Rica Safe to Visit?