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Travel Advice for Turkey

British ConsulateIf you are in Turkey and need assistance then the British Embassy in Turkey will be able to assist you. More than 2.5m British nationals visit Turkey each year. British nationals need to have a visa to travel to Turkey (except for cruise ship passengers with ‘British Citizen’ passports entering the country for a day trip, remaining in the port of embarkation and returning to the ship the same day).

Public demonstrations are not uncommon and you need to stay away from them and use caution on days of anniversaries. 35 people died in violent protests across the country between 7 and 9 October 2014. Terrorism is also an ongoing problem with a suicide bombing in the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul on 6 January 2015.

Crime

Crime levels are low and pickpocketing is mainly in the large cities. Drinks served in bars overseas are often stronger than those in the UK. Buy your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times so they are not spiked. Dont take food or drinks from strangers. Note the British Government report that sexual assaults on British citizens in Egypt, Turkey and Spain have the highest incidences. (See: British Abroad)

In 2014, 14 cases of sexual assault, including rape, were reported to British consular staff in Turkey. Most of these cases occurred during the summer holiday period in coastal tourist areas. Most were committed late at night by someone the victim met during the evening. There have also been sexual attacks on minors visiting toilet facilities alone.

Never ever accept lifts from strangers in Turkey. It is best to find a registered yellow taxi and make a note of the registration number before getting in.

Local laws and customs

Homosexuality is legal in Turkey however it is frowned upon. Use your common sense when taking photos. Dont take photos of military installations or of people without their permission. You have to carry a copy of your passport on you at all times. Visa and face page if you have many pages. Always dress modestly when around religious sites. Smoking is prohibited indoors where people work and on public transport.

Travel

If you are leaving Turkey with a minor who is a dual British-Turkish national, you may be asked to show the Turkish immigration authorities evidence that the Turkish parent has given permission for the child to travel. There are many ATM’s in Turkey and also  exchange bureaux, known as DOVIZ in Turkish.

Health

If you need emergency medical assistance while on holiday in Turkey then you need to dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

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