Turkey

Turkey is a country on the Mediterranean sea surrounded by Bulgaria and Greece to the west, and Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia to the Northeast, Syria, Iraq and Iran to the southeast. Not only its breath-taking landscapes and rich history will make you eager to explore this country, but its welcoming people, culture, and delicious cuisine. Some areas of the country have to be avoided, while the main cities are welcoming for tourists

SAFETY INDEX

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Is Turkey a Safe or Dangerous Country?

Turkey is a safe place to visit as long as you use common sense and take precautions. In fact, governments around the world have only advised against travel to the south-east part of the country (Syrian border) as well as the city of Diyarbakir and the provinces of Siirt, Tunceli and Hakkari due to the constant risk of terrorism. Most terrorist attacks have happened in the south and east of Turkey and in Ankara and Istanbul. The most recent attacks include the suicide bombings on December 10, 2016 near Istanbul’s Soccer Stadium and a mass shooting on January 1, 2017 at the Istanbul Reina nightclub. Turkish authorities have reported an increase in security in response to the attacks. However, travelers should be vigilant, follow the advice of local security authorities, and monitor media reports to stay informed. Street crime levels are generally low. However, in major tourist areas, you’ll find that mugging and pick-pockets are common. We recommend you maintain the same level of personal security as in any other country. It is important to understand and respect your host country's culture as it will help you enjoy your travels and connect with its people. Remember to dress modestly if you are visiting a mosque or a religious shrine. In Turkey, it is illegal not to carry some form of photographic ID, so make sure to have your passport on you and a printed copy of your e-visa or residency permit at all times.

Crime & Scams in Turkey

Pickpocketing and bag snatching are common in Turkey, especially in tourist areas like Taksim Square, Sultanahmet, the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul. Stolen passports are a particular problem in Didim, Kas, Kalkan, and the Fethiye/Hisaronu/Ovacik areas. There is a kidnapping risk near the Syrian border in Turkey by terrorist groups, including Daesh who see groups that are involved in humanitarian aid work or journalism as targets. Although they operate in Syria, they are capable of kidnapping their targets from across the border.

Transport Safety in Turkey

Turkey counts with different types of public transportation that are considered safe and well maintained as they are constantly supervised by security personnel. Among them: funiculars, light rail, metro, suburban trains, and trams. Dolmus are shared taxis or mini buses that run within and between towns in Turkey and usually leave once they are full. Some routes may have some designated stops; however, on less busy roads, passengers can board and request a stop anywhere along the route. You can find their destination on the front of the minibus. Bikes are sometimes overlooked, and they might be a great way to explore some towns in Turkey at your own pace. You can rent them from local tour operators, or you can also consult the front desk at your hotel, a guidebook or the local tourist office. Is it safe? Yes, but always watch out for pickpockets. Is it comfortable? Yes, except the mini buses. Most of the types of public transportation in Turkey are relatively new and air conditioned. Turks tend to give their seat up to pregnant women and senior citizens. There are also designated areas for strollers and wheelchairs

Natural Dangers in Turkey

Many parts of Turkey are subject to earthquakes. Many cities can also be affected by severe droughts; therefore, running water may not be available in many places, including hotels.

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : HIGH

There are some areas to avoid, and as long as common sense is used and travelers always remain alert, Turkey can be an exciting country to explore.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

Pickpocketing and bag snatching are common in Turkey, especially in tourist areas like Taksim Square, Sultanahmet, the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : HIGH

There is a kidnapping risk near the Syrian border in Turkey by terrorist groups. Their targets are usually groups that are involved in humanitarian aid work or journalism. Muggings and assaults have also been reported. Travelers have been drugged and had their passports and other personal effects stolen.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : HIGH

Common cybercrimes reported are requests of money upfront for services or investments. A recurring case of scamming is the one where a traveler befriends an English-speaking local, he/she is taken to a bar for food and drinks and the is expected to pay for everything.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : HIGH

Overall, transportation in Turkey is safe. However, travelers need to keep an eye on their belongings at all times.

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : HIGH

Many parts of Turkey are subject to earthquakes. Many cities can also be affected by severe droughts; therefore, running water may not be available in many places, including hotels.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : HIGH

Turkey remains in a heightened state of alert as further terrorist attacks in the country are likely and could be indiscriminate.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : HIGH

There have been reports of sexual assaults against female travelers that are either traveling solo or in small groups. These assaults are usually committed by someone the victim met recently. Female travelers are advised to avoid isolated locations and traveling alone after dark.

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Useful Information

Some nationalities like Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Ireland,, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, the UK and USA require Visas that you can purchase online at http://www.evisa.gov.tr/before travelling. Most nationalities, including the above, get a 90-day visa. www.doyouneedvisa.com is a useful website that can help you know if you need a visa or not based on your nationality and the country you’re visiting.
The currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira. Credit and debit cards are accepted by most businesses, and ATMs are available in major cities and tourist areas. Tipping is customary in restaurants, hotels, and taxis.
The Mediterranean coasts of Turkey get hot, dry summers and slightly cool, wet winters. The coasts bordering the Black Sea have a moderate Oceanic climate with warm, wet summers and cold, wet winters. As you get farther away from the coasts, the weather gets harsher with contrasting seasons.
The main international airports in Turkey are in the west: Atatürk International Airport (Istanbul’s main airport), Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, Antalya International Airport, Adnan Menderes Airport, Bodrum International Airport, Dalaman International Airport, and Esenboga Airport. If you're looking for cheap flight deals, you can find some on JetRadar
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page