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 TurkeyPickpocketing 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 TurkeyTurkey 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 TurkeyMany 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
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.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
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.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
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.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
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.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Overall, transportation in Turkey is safe. However, travelers need to keep an eye on their belongings at all times.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
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.
TERRORISM RISK : HIGH
Turkey remains in a heightened state of alert as further terrorist attacks in the country are likely and could be indiscriminate.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
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.