Reconsider travel to Turkey due to terrorism and arbitrary detentions. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
Do not travel to:
Areas along the Turkey-Syria border and the southeastern provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Sirnak, Diyarbakir, Van, Siirt, Mus, Mardin, Batman, Bingol, Tunceli, Hakkari, and Bitlis due to terrorism.
Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Turkey. Terrorist organizations explicitly target Western tourists and expatriates for kidnapping and assassination. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.
Under the State of Emergency, security forces have detained tens of thousands of individuals, including U.S. citizens, suspected of affiliation with alleged terrorist organizations based on scant or secret evidence and grounds that appear to be politically motivated. U.S. citizens have also been subject to travel bans that prevent them from departing Turkey.
Participation in gatherings, protests, and demonstrations not explicitly approved by the Government of Turkey can result in arrest.
The U.S. government subjects its personnel in Turkey to certain security restrictions that are subject to change.
Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Turkey:
- Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners, particularly at popular tourist locations in Istanbul.
- Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
- Stay at hotels with identifiable security measures.
- Monitor local media and adjust your plans based on new information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for Turkey.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Southeast Turkey and the Syrian Border – Level 4: Do Not Travel
Southeastern Turkey, including the provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Sirnak, Diyarbakir, Van, Siirt, Mus, Mardin, Batman, Bingol, Tunceli, Hakkari, and Bitlis, is vulnerable to terrorist activities. Terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings, ambushes, car bomb detonations, improvised explosive devices, as well as kidnappings for ransom, shootings, roadblocks, and violent demonstrations have occurred in these areas.
Do not to travel to the large urban centers near the Turkish/Syrian border due to the continued threat of attacks by terrorist groups based in both Turkey and Syria. The government of Turkey prohibits border crossings from Syria into Turkey, even if the traveler previously entered Syria from Turkey.
The U.S. government has very limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in southeastern Turkey as the U.S. government restricts its employees from traveling to the region.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.