This Advice was last issued on Tuesday, 13 October 2015. Travellers are reminded that terrorist attacks could occur at any time in Turkey, including in Ankara and Istanbul (see Safety and security). The overall level of advice has not changed. We continue to advise Australians to exercise a high degree of caution in Turkey.
- We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Turkey because of the high threat of terrorist attack. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times. Monitor the media and other sources about possible new security risks.
- Terrorist attacks can occur anywhere at any time in Turkey. On 10 October 2015, an attack on a peace rally in central Ankara killed over 100 people. In recent years, terrorist attacks have occurred in tourist areas and locations frequented by foreigners. See Safety and security.
- We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to any area within 50 kilometres of Turkey’s border with Syria and not to travel within 10 kilometres of the border with Syria due to the threat of terrorist attack and kidnapping associated with the ongoing conflict in Syria. Turkish security forces have a strong presence in these border areas.
- There is an increased threat of terrorist attack throughout Turkey as a result of the conflict in Syria and Iraq. The threat is highest along Turkey’s long and porous border with Syria. However, attacks are possible elsewhere in Turkey including in major centres of Ankara and Istanbul.
- There is an increased threat of kidnapping in the regions bordering Syria. Terrorist groups operating in Syria and Iraq have demonstrated their capability and inclination to kidnap and murder westerners. These groups have the capability to extend their operations across the border into Turkey.
- There has been a significant influx of refugees into Turkey from Syria and Iraq. There are currently an estimated two million refugees in Turkey. You should be aware of the potential for conflict between refugees and locals throughout Turkey and exercise particular caution at times of heightened tensions.
- We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to all areas within the southeastern provinces of Batman, Bingol, Bitlis, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hakkari, Hatay, Kilis, Mardin, Mus, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sirnak, Tunceli and Van, due to the unpredictable security situation. The situation is more dangerous at night and in rural areas.
- Protests have occurred sporadically in major cities in Turkey since May 2013. There were several violent attacks on the offices of political parties during the lead up to the 7 June 2015 elections. Further disturbances are possible in response to political developments. These may form without warning and quickly turn violent. Australians should avoid all protests and demonstrations throughout Turkey.
- There has been an increase in the number of violent sexual assaults against female tourists travelling alone or in small groups in popular tourist areas of Turkey, including in Istanbul and coastal resort areas such as Antalya.
- The unauthorised sale and exportation of antiquities is prohibited and carries long jail sentences. You need a receipt and an official certificate to export these items legally. See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.
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