Friday, June 21, 2024

Glasgow tourists issued Turkey travel advice as Foreign Office says ‘leave the area’

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The UK Foreign Office has issued an updated travel advisory for Glasgow holidaymakers and others across the country planning a getaway in Turkey.

The government is advising against travel to certain parts of the country, while tourists visiting areas deemed safe have been cautioned about specific crimes and given safety tips.



Turkey, second only to Spain as a favourite holiday spot for Brits, welcomed nearly four million UK visitors in 2023. Its beautiful beaches, mountain ranges, delectable cuisine and captivating cities are major draws, but it’s crucial that holidaymakers heed official travel advice when heading overseas.

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Currently, the British Foreign Office strongly advises against all travel within 10km of the Syrian border due to ongoing conflict and an increased risk of terrorism. It also recommends avoiding all but essential travel to Sirnak city and Hakkari Province.

Travelling against these advisories could result in invalidated travel insurance, reports Birmingham Live.

Popular tourist destinations such as Istanbul, Antalya and Bodrum are generally considered safe for travel. However, the Foreign Office has warned travellers to be aware of political demonstrations and crimes like pickpocketing and food and drink spiking, and to exercise caution when using public transport.

The UK government has issued an update to its travel advice for Turkey on May 1, covering health, wildfires, crime, outdoor activities and adventure tourism. Here’s a summary of the current advice….

Terrorist attacks and protests

Holidaymakers are being advised to ‘stay aware of their surroundings at all times’ due to a heightened global threat of terrorist attacks, including from groups and individuals targeting the UK and British nationals.

Most terrorist incidents have taken place in southeast Turkey, Ankara and Istanbul. Those visiting these areas are urged to stay informed through local news reports and heed the advice of local authorities.

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Attacks could occur in tourist hotspots including public buildings, places of worship, airports and large public gatherings.

The ongoing conflict in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories has escalated tensions and sporadic demonstrations can occur in cities, potentially turning violent, warns the Foreign Office. Police have resorted to tear gas and water cannon to break up protests and tourists are advised to steer clear of all demonstrations and ‘leave the area’ if one arises.

Crime

Brits are being advised to keep an eye on crime trends in popular holiday destinations, including street theft and pickpocketing. They should make sure their possessions are safe at all times.

Furthermore, there have been reports of people’s food and drink being tampered with, so travellers should always buy their own beverages and keep them within sight – as well as being cautious of any individuals offering to exchange currency, take you to a restaurant or club, or sharing their food or drinks with you.

It was reported that British consular staff in Turkey dealt with 42 cases of sexual assault, including rape, in 2023 alone, with most instances occurring during the summer holidays in coastal areas frequented by tourists. The crimes often took place at night and were committed by persons whom the victim had met earlier in the day – hotel staff have been implicated in some instances.

As such, tourists are being asked to maintain a heightened awareness when in these situations.

Getting into unregistered vehicles can also pose a risk. To steer clear of potential harm, the Foreign Office encourages visitors to opt for registered taxis instead, advising them to note down the vehicle registration number before entering.

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Outdoor Activity Safety Measures

Those indulging in outdoor pursuits are being reminded to ensure adequate safety measures are in place, especially when participating in extreme sports. The Foreign Office warns: “Only use reputable operators. Make sure you are given full instructions and training before your activity. Make sure your travel insurance covers you for all activities you do.”

When it comes to quad biking on your holiday, be aware that specific travel insurance is essential as the insurance provided by hire companies often only covers third party liability. If you damage the vehicle, hefty charges could follow, and failure to settle them might even lead to arrest.


It’s also mandatory for both drivers and passengers to wear helmets; neglecting this can not only invalidate your insurance but also result in fines or licence confiscation if caught by the police.

Wildfires

The latest travel advice from the government includes cautions regarding wildfires, a common occurrence in Turkey during the summer months. The guidance states: “You could get a fine or prison sentence for lighting a fire of any kind or discarding cigarettes in risk areas such as woodland. Barbecues are prohibited in these areas. If there is a wildfire in your area, local authorities may tell you to leave your accommodation. Follow the directions of local authorities.”

Considering a getaway? Travel Republic is offering sensational discounts of up to 67% on package holidays to Turkey. Additionally, luxury suitcase brand Antler has slashed the price of its Ryanair, Jet2, and TUI-approved Brixham Cabin Bag from £170 down to just £102 in their sale.

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