Turkey Travel Alerts and Warnings

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and travel: The situation around the world is changing dramatically. Various governments have changed their travel warnings to restrict travel during this time. To understand how this may impact cover under your policy, please go to our FAQs and select your country of residence.

For the latest travel warnings and alerts around the world, read about lockdowns and border restrictions.

How are coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions affecting travel to Turkey? Find out about requirements for pre-departure and arrivals.

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Blue mosque and Hagia Sophia Photo © Getty Images/Photosensia

Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions in Turkey – updated 25 November, 2020

Requirements to enter Turkey

Turkey’s international land, sea and air borders are open to foreign travelers who meet Turkish immigration rules.

Commercial flights are resuming on a country-by-country basis, subject to coordination with the Ministry of Health. Contact your airline for the latest information on the status of your flight.

  • Airline passengers must wear face masks, complete passenger locator forms supplied by the airline, and undergo COVID-19 screening upon arrival
  • The medical screening includes temperature checks, and anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will undergo a PCR test
  • Check to see if you require a visa before traveling to Turkey, and apply online here
  • All visa applicants are required to have medical insurance that will be valid during their stay in Turkey.

What to expect while traveling around Turkey

The Turkish Government has introduced measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, and further restrictions may be reintroduced with little notice.

  • It is mandatory to wear a face mask at all times outside the home throughout Turkey
  • Turkey is made up of 81 provinces, and each province may have different rules in place. Before crossing district or province borders, check for the latest updates
  • There are capacity limits on public transport to make sure passengers follow social distancing guidelines
  • Turkish citizens and residents must obtain an HES (Hayat Eve Sığar) code for international and domestic travel, including flights, train and ferry travel. This does not apply to non-Turkish nationals. For more information, read about the HES system.

Keep up to date before traveling and while you are there, as the situation is changing fast.

Wondering how your travel insurance might be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak? Find answers to some of our common questions about COVID-19.

Before you buy a travel insurance policy, check your government travel warnings and health advice – there may be no travel insurance cover for locations with a government travel ban or health advice against travel.

Previous travel alerts for Turkey

5.7 magnitude earthquake near Turkey-Iran border - 23 February, 2020

On Sunday 23 February 2020, a 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck near the Turkish–Iran border in the east of Turkey. Nine people have been killed in Van province, many were injured and thousands of buildings have been damaged.

A number of government travel advisories, including the USA and Australia, have listed the southeast region of Turkey as 'Reconsider your need to travel' and some parts as 'Do not travel' due to the threat of terrorism and crime.

What to do if you're in an earthquake

  • Move to an open space away from hazards such as powerlines, buildings, trees and bridges
  • Move away from any falling objects, crouch on the ground and cover your head
  • Don't rush outside though – plenty of earthquake injuries happen when people fall while trying to run
  • If you can't get outside safely, get under strong furniture or against an internal wall. Bathtubs or spaces behind furniture aren't the safest places – hiding under a bed or strong table is a better option, which will protect you from falling objects
  • If you are in a wheelchair, stay away from any objects that could fall. Lock the wheels and cover your head with your arms
  • If you are trapped under rubble, avoid wasting your energy or stirring up dust. Only call for help when you hear people nearby
  • After the earthquake, get to your evacuation point. Try to get in touch with your embassy and emergency contact. Try not to waste your phone battery.

April 2018 – 7th State of Emergency Declared

A three-month long State of Emergency was declared across Turkey in July 2016 and was recently extended for a seventh time as announced by Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The declaration gives the government sweeping powers to rule by decree. The president has also announced a snap election for June 2018, bringing forward the election by 18 months.

Travelers are warned the normal judicial procedures may be suspended, and police and military personnel will have wide-ranging powers. The authorities may impose curfews and other restrictions on travel at short notice.

You must observe and follow all directives. Check local news media for details of any changes that are made under this decree.

Shooting in an Istanbul Nightclub – 1 January, 2017

When a lone gunman opened fire on NewYear's Eve partygoers at an Istanbul nightclub, 39 people were killed and more than 70 injured. A radicalized Uzbekistan national and 51 associated accomplices were arrested, and the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

Is Istanbul Safe in 2017?

It's important to check the government status of the area you are visiting – at time of publication, the status for certain areas in Turkey sit at Reconsider Your Need to Travel including Istanbul, which may in some circumstances have an impact on your coverage.

It is up to each individual to assess the level of risk they are prepared to take.

While the chances of being killed in a terrorist incident remain dramatically lower than being killed in a vehicle accident and even lower than death by falling over in a bathtub, the number of fatalities increased nine-fold between 2013 and 2014. 

With the security situation in Istanbul considered high risk by several government travel advisories due to the risk of terrorist attacks including in popular tourist spots, now might be the right time to minimize your travel to Istanbul.

Many areas of Turkey remain trouble-free, and you may make the decision to go straight there rather than visit the historical sights of Istanbul. World Nomads emphasizes that you are covered for travel to Istanbul at present (subject to the government warning levels as advised above), but it may be wise to take the Blue Mosque off your bucket list for the time being.

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43 Comments

  • Michael Severson said

    Planning on traveling to Turkey in September. Istanbul and Bodrum. Traveling from the United States.

    Reply

    • Musty said

      My girl friend wants to come in turkey from NewYork in September and I will travel from uk but there is no clear instructions about USA citizens they can or they can’t it’s so confusing I am so upset about it because this is out first holiday together 🙁🙁

      Reply

    • Meka said

      Travel to Turkey
      In our stations where temperature measurement is allowed, measurement is made with non-contact temperature meters during boarding. If our passengers show symptoms such as fever, runny nose, cough and respiratory distress above 38°C, they will not be admitted to our flights and will be directed to the relevant health institution.
      Please note that in accordance with the guide published by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, certain flight restrictions apply for arrivals to Turkey. Passengers are required to obey the conditions below for a healthy and safe flight.

      All passengers are required to wear masks at the airport and during the flights.
      All passengers must complete the passenger information form when arriving to Turkey.
      All passengers will undergo a medical examination and those showing symptoms will have tests performed.
      Passengers with a positive test result will take medical treatment.

      Reply

    • Vegan said

      The "Reply" button doesn't work, hence travelers can't really respond to questions of previous questions. I would recommend to get an electronic visa on the official website of the Turkish gov at:
      https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ instead of trying to get it at the border.

      Reply

  • Heather Cameron said

    I have a holdiay booked with a friend to Turkey in October. We will be sharing a room at our resort is that allowed?

    Reply

    • Mary said

      I want to travel to Turkey October 10 to 24th ... will i have any problems getting in? What fo i need to know?

      Reply

  • Gino said

    I've booked a vacation with my girlfriend from kazakhstan. Some news agencies reported that kazakh nationals are restricted to travel to turkey by Turkish authorities. I can't find any official information that, for example on consulate websites or IATA international flight page. Does anyone else perhaps have any other information?

    Reply

  • Alamgir Hossain said

    I am returning from UN Mission of South Sudan (UNMISS) on 19 July '20 along with my colleagues by Turkish Aiirlines. Enroute, I have 12 hours transit in Istambul Airport. I am allowed to visit Istambul by obtaining On Arrival Visa within this tranisit time in this COVID-19 situation.

    Reply

  • Alamgir Hossain said

    I am returning from UN Mission of South Sudan (UNMISS) on 19 July '20 along with my colleagues by Turkish Aiirlines. Enroute, I have 12 hours transit in Istambul Airport. Am I allowed to visit Istambul by obtaining On Arrival Visa within this tranisit time in this COVID-19 situation?

    Reply

  • Elaine Furness said

    traveling for just a few days late Sept from UK to Dalaman, are hotels, restuarants and shops and things generally open and do I need a buy a VISA to enter

    Reply

  • Shin Ra said

    Update us on how it goes in september. I went last year and did Istanbul and Bodrum and was gonna go again this year but ended up cancelling the trip.

    Reply

  • Jennifer Ainsworth said

    Going to Alanya 21/9/20 staying at oba star hotel and spa. Have tried to contact them direct and holiday company to see if they are open and trading for visitors. I have not received any update as yet and getting worried about it.

    Reply

  • Maureen Starr said

    I am from UK have been stuck in Goa India but now want to travel to Turkey is that allowed as because of Covid 19.
    Would be grateful if someone could confirm as I will have to book a repatriation flight from Mumbia
    Thanking you

    Reply

  • Anne Bower said

    Morning. My husband and myself are due to fly to Istanbul 6/9/2020, we have got our tickets . We have asked travel agent for info as to what the situation is regarding all day face coverings. They didn't know !!!!. We are unsure whether to go or not as don't fancy walking around in the heat with a face mask on and also about the social distancing. Some of the attractions have been cancelled. Can anyone offer any advise please? Thank you

    Reply

  • Alexey Rossiiskii said

    No problem, we have arrived Antalya 5 days ago. No covid restrictions anywhere. You can find all on our YouTube channel. Hot Chili busters

    Reply

  • Anne Bower said

    Hi. Posted on here earlier but not got any feed back for Istanbul area of Turkey. Does anyone know if face mask wearing is required when out ?. Also are all the touristy attractions open eg, Blue Mosque etc, open bus? Many thanks

    Reply

    • Chris Rea said

      Hi Anne,

      I am a kiwi, and live half the year near Antalya; have owned a house here since 2008 so I know my way around a bit.

      Personally, I wouldn't go near Istanbul given this crisis situation; it has a huge population, normally close contact with others is inevitable in all the big Tourist destinations.

      However, if you want a resort hotel type experience in another part of Turkey it is likely to be safer.

      In our local towns it is required to wear face masks while shopping and in public. Many dont wear masks, particularly the males. Social distancing is adhered to in restaurants who take the situation seriously.

      Hope this helps.

      Chris

      Reply

  • Amelia Brady said

    Hi Anne,

    Sorry for the delay getting back to you. Alexey responded above and said that they arrived in Antalya five days ago and have not seen any restrictions.

    You must wear a face mask at all times in airports, and for the duration of all flights to and from Turkey.

    The UK Government travel alert currently states: "the wearing of face masks is mandatory at all times outside the home in the following provinces, which include major cities and some tourist areas:

    Adıyaman, Afyonkarahisar, Agri, Amasya, Ankara, Ardahan, Aydın, Balıkesir, Bartın, Batman, Bilecik, Bingöl, Bitlis, Bolu, Burdur, Bursa, Çanakkale, Denizli, Diyarbakır, Düzce, Elazığ, Erzurum, Eskişehir, Gaziantep, Giresun, Iğdır, Isparta, Istanbul, İzmir ,Kahramanmaraş, Karabük, Kayseri, Kırklareli, Kocaeli, Konya, Kütahya, Malatya, Mardin, Muğla, Muş, Nevşehir, Ordu, Osmaniye, Rize, Sakarya, Siirt, Sinop, Sivas, Şanlıurfa, Şırnak, Tokat, Tunceli, Uşak, Yalova, Yozgat and Zonguldak."

    Contact your accomodation to see if the areas you are traveling to are included here.

    I hope this helps.

    Cheers
    Amelia, World Nomads

    Reply

  • Carole Lane said

    We are booked to travel to Kalkan in 1-15 September .. my husband was shielding .. are the Covid infections increasing there ? We are staying in a villa ...

    Reply

  • Neal said

    Merhaba!

    Benim Sorum:

    1) I am planning to fly from the United States non-stop to Istanbul, and then from Istanbul to Nevşehir.
    2) My flight will be one-way.
    3) The purpose of my trip is to buy property and apply for residency as a property owner.
    4) I am planning to go sometime in September.
    5) I am 67 years old and a US citizen and US Passport holder.
    6) Will I need any additional documentation to travel intercity, from Istanbul to Nevşehir?

    Teşekkür Ederim!

    Reply

  • Anne Bower said

    Hi Amelia,
    Thank you for that info.
    Our travel agent has tried to contact our hotel and they told us they are only Turkish speaking who are answering the phone. We have logged onto hotel website and that is only in Turkish as well

    Reply

  • Björn Jörgensen said

    Hi everyone,
    We are travelling to Antalya from Stockholm in september for two weeks vacation.
    We will change plane in Istanbul. We are both swedish nationals.
    Does anyone know if we need a HES code travelling between Istanbul and Antalya.
    Thanks everyone.
    Björn

    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Bjorn,

      Sorry for the delay getting back to you. Turkish Airlines has a really great set of guidelines around requirements for HES (Hayat Eve Sığar): https://www.turkishairlines.com/en-tr/announcements/coronavirus-outbreak/hes-code/

      It states "HES code is mandatory on all domestic flights for citizens of the Republic of Turkey and people whose Foreigner’s ID No issued by the Turkish Republic start with 97, 98, and 99.". But it also says "The HES code is not mandatory for domestic flights with connecting international flights at the moment (Trabzon-London flight via Istanbul). Where there is more than 24 hours of time between connecting flights, HES code is mandatory before the domestic flights."

      Cheers,
      Amelia, World Nomads

      Reply

  • Rahatullah said

    hello sir i have booked my ticket to istanbul from belgium is belgium citizens are allowed to enter turkey my flight is on 29 august

    thank you

    Reply

  • Ketul said

    I am interested to travel to Turkey in September. Being a Indian national, i can travel to turkey on a tourist visa.

    Reply

  • Oran said

    I have a trip planned to Istanbul 2nd week of September. Are the museums and other tourist sites open?

    Reply

  • Mark said

    I'm a US citizen in the US; two questions:

    1. Can I travel to Turkey?
    2. Once in Turkey, can I travel from Turkey to Italy?

    I know of someone traveling from the UK to the US; he will be quarantining in Turkey. I'm wondering if it also works the other way around: travel from the US to Turkey, quarantine there, then travel to Italy.

    Thanks!
    Mark

    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Mark,

      Check immigration requirements for travel Italy closer to the date you are due to leave Italy for Turkey. Entry bans are changing so fast, it wouldn't be ideal to go off what the current situation is. At the moment travel to Italy from Turkey is only allowed for essential reasons, and 'tourism' is not an essential reason. Our Italy travel alert is here for more information: https://www.worldnomads.com/travel-safety/europe/italy/italy-travel-alerts-warnings

      US citizens are allowed to enter Turkey, however you should consult your government's travel advice: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/turkey-travel-advisory.html

      And here for the US Embassy's situation report: https://tr.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-2/

      A travel agent may be better suited to help answer your question with information that applies specifically to you and your personal circumstances.

      All the best,
      Amelia, World Nomads

      Reply

  • Amalia said

    Hi, I'm from Indonesia, I planning to travel to Turkey at 11 September, still wasn't sure if I allowed to enter, I've booked the flight,,etc..or do I need a PCR test documents for travel to Turkey?

    Reply

  • Esther jasmine said

    Am from Nigeria will be travelling to Turkey on the 11th of September with Turkish airlines. Hope I can go

    Reply

  • Hina said

    Me along with my sister are planning a tour with a group in early October. Please share your views and knowledge if it is safe to be there now. O don’t want to stuck or return home with Covid.

    Reply

  • Deborah said

    Hi there! I am planning a trip to Turkey in December with my boyfriend. He currently lives in Tunisia and I live in California. I am curious as to why the websites are saying that US citizens need to apply for a Visa to come there but Tunisia doesn't require one. Right now Turkey is a level 3 meaning "reconsider" going there because of the current cases. It also says that a 2 week quarantine is not necessary for US citizens either which is also a head scratcher considering the cases we have here. There is a lot of conflicting information going around and I'm only looking for answers.

    Are there any Americans who have gone there or who are planning to go there who could give me some info on what they had to do and what they went thru and were told to look out for so I can n have an idea of what I may be getting myself into please? Thank you for your time and consideration. xoxo

    Reply

  • Jessie said

    Hi,
    i'm due to go to italy next week, then back to the UK, then to Istanbul two days later - is that allowed?

    thank you!

    Reply

  • Samra Jabeen said

    I need to know that I want to stay in Istanbul for four days, and I’m from Canada, should I need to quartile in Istanbul??

    Reply

  • Humayra Ifzal said

    Hi,

    Im planning to travel to istanbul on the 2nd of october will i have to quarantine on arrival ?

    Reply

  • JOHN HARRIS said

    I am supposed to be going to Istanbul in October, I am a U.S. citizen living Spain. My question is, will the country allow flights back to Spain?
    The reason I ask is I just got back from a trip to Poland and upon landing in Poland , I received an email from Ryanair that the country of Poland had cancelled all flights to Spain due to the spike in COVID-19 in Spain.
    I just want to be sure if I fly to Turkey they will fly me back to Spain.
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply

  • Miss Emma kerevan said

    Hi it's all over face saying that British citizens are not allowed in turkey from to day is this right please thanks

    Reply

  • Kay said

    Hi everyone.
    I am flying to dalaman in 2 weeks from the UK staying for a week and then want to fly to Istanbul for a few nights before returning home to the UK. Can you fly internally within turkey with a broth passport? Any specific requirements? Thanks x

    Reply

  • Scott said

    I am a U.S. citizen who arrived in Turkey on 11-Sept and have had no issues booking and taking internal flights on both Turkish Air and Pegasus.

    I flew into VAN via Istanbul from Tanzania with no problems.

    Flew from VAN to Cappadocia via SAW/Istanbul with no problem.

    Flew direct from Cappadocia to Antalya; no problem.

    Flew direct from Antalya to SAW/Istanbul for $17. No issues.

    You will be required to wear a facemask on the flight an in the airport. Very few people are actually respecting social distancing once the queue in line, on the buses that take you onto the tarmac an at the baggage carousel.

    Facemasks are mandated in public places. About 45% wear them properly. 45% wear them down around their neck and use them when they enter a store/crowd/see the police and about 10% are not wearing them at all.

    Everything seems to be operating normally here except there are very few tourists so hotels are inexpensive bargains.

    You can currently (Sept. 27, 2020) return as a citizen to U.S. an U.K. from Turkey.
    I am flying to U.K. tomorrow with no need for self-quarantine due to over 14 ays in Turkey and Turkey is currently on the approved Green List. This can change day-to-day so double-check on your own to be safe.

    My original flight was through Amsterdam and U.K. requires 14-ay self quarantine with even just a transit through non-approved country so I re-booked directly from Istanbul to London

    Safe travels.

    Reply

  • Moo said

    Hi everyone

    I'm from Africa (Namibia) planning to travel to Turkey next month. Am I allowed to enter in Turkey? What requirements do I need?
    Thank you!

    Reply

  • Jemima said

    Hi everyone,

    I am from Nice France and I booked to go to Antalya from Oct 24th to Oct 31st. Will I be able to enter and leave the country?

    Thank you in advance!

    Reply

  • Cindy Benner said

    I plan on traveling from the US to Turkey next year, also visiting Bosnia/Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, and Montenegro. Do I need to self-quarantine when I return to the US?

    Reply

  • Clare said

    Are the planes leaving for irish visitors at the same time or can they get an early flight home due to the earthquake

    Reply

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