Turkey Travel Alerts and Warnings

Get the latest advice on natural disasters, political instability, civil unrest and how it may affect your travel plans to Turkey.

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Blue mosque and Hagia Sophia Photo © Getty Images/Photosensia

There are no current travel warnings or alerts. For up-to-date information, check with your government travel advisory for travel advice.

Older Alerts

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.

1st January 2017 - Shooting in an Istanbul Nightclub

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 Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

Is Istanbul Safe?

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 attack 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.

Am I Covered for Terrorist Attack?

It’s important that warnings issued by your respective foreign offices are heeded and you exercise a high degree of caution while in Istanbul. If you do decide to travel to Turkey, stay abreast of all local information regarding any potential threats – talk to locals, read the papers and news websites – stay informed and you will have a safer trip.

If you are injured in a terrorist attack your medical costs and medical evacuation (if required) are covered by your policy.

Access to the benefits related to terrorism depends on your country of residence, so go to our Help Desk, enter your country of residence and in the search box type 'terrorism'.

If you are a World Nomads policyholder check the wording of your policy.

If you are not a World Nomads policyholder the policy wording is accessible after you get a quote (no obligation to purchase), but remember, you will not be covered for this incident if you purchase the policy after it has occurred, but you'll be covered for future unrelated events.

Anyone, policyholder or not, is welcome to call the customer assistance teams and discuss coverage.

What Should You Do If You're in Caught in a Coup?

  • Shelter in place
  • Stay indoors
  • Update family and friends when possible (social media may be blocked but you can still reach loved ones via email, telephone or SMS)
  • Monitor local media
  • Contact your consulate
  • Avoid areas of conflict
  • Exercise caution if you're in the vicinity of military or security forces
  • Observe the curfew

Am I Covered for a Coup?

While a coup is not covered per se, if your hotel has been damaged or your carrier has labeled this a terrorist event, or some authority has indicated evacuations are necessary, you may have coverage. And although your policy might not cover a coup, it doesn't mean the whole policy is invalid. If you fall and break your leg in Istanbul - you're covered.

Access to the benefits of cancellation and trip interruption also depends on your country of residence, so check out the information here. If you are a World Nomads policyholder check the wording of your policy. If you are not a World Nomads policyholder the policy wording is accessible after you get a quote (no obligation to purchase), but remember, you will not be covered for this incident if you purchase the policy after it has occurred, but you'll be covered for future unrelated events. Anyone, policyholder or not, is welcome to call the customer assistance teams and discuss coverage.

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