Türkiye’s abundance of cultural heritage, fascinating historical sites, great architecture, food and people have made it a go-to holiday destination for decades. Istanbul is an incredibly vibrant city, which straddles two continents, but the country is also known for its beautiful landscape and coastlines.
However, its proximity to the continuing conflict in Israel, which erupted on Saturday October 7, is causing concern about how safe it is to travel to this region of the world. Here is everything we know about travelling to Türkiye amidst the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Is it safe to travel to Türkiye at the moment?
Türkiye has not been impacted by the conflict in Israel. It depends on where in the country you’re travelling, but the majority of destinations in Türkiye are safe and tourist-friendly. Certain areas have experienced wildfires over the summer, and the UK Foreign Office estimates that the terrorist threat is ‘very high’. However, travelling to Türkiye is not advised against.
How about Antalya?
A city with gorgeous beaches which is full of ancient Greek and Roman remnants, Antalya is one of Türkiye’s fastest-growing tourist destinations.
The province experienced wildfires earlier this year, which began in the forests of Kemer. However, the region has been considered a safe place to travel since the fires were brought under control.
Is it safe to travel to Istanbul?
There is currently no official advice stating that it is unsafe to travel to Istanbul.
What is the UK Foreign Office saying?
The UK Foreign Office advises against all travel to anywhere within 10km of the border with Syria. It also advises against all but essential travel with Sirnak (city) and Hakkari (province).
Travellers are free to visit the rest of Türkiye, but the advice is to remain vigilant. Political protests can break out unexpectedly and the country is considered to have a ‘very high’ threat of terrorist attacks. The webpage also states that Türkiye is prone to experiencing wildfires during the summer, and recommends taking care when driving through woodland areas.
What about the Turkey Travel Advisory?
The advice from the Turkey Travel Advisory is similar to that of the UK Foreign Office. It marks Sirnak, Hakkari and anywhere within 10 km of the Syrian Border as a level four, which means ‘do not travel’.
Advice about the rest of Türkiye encourages travellers to stay alert, avoid demonstrations and crowds, and to monitor local media for up-to-date information. You can read more about the Turkey Travel Advisory’s recommendations on their webpage.
How far is Türkiye from Israel?
Türkiye is 879 km from Israel, or about an hour and a half flight. Türkiye is north of Israel, and the two countries do not share a border.
Is travel to other countries near Israel safe?
The Foreign Office does not currently advise against travelling to countries bordering Israel, but advice may change quickly as the violence escalates.
For more information on how to help those affected by the conflict, you can read our guide on where to donate here.
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