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Reviewed: 03 April 2013, 14:15 NZDT
Still current at: 19 June 2013
There is high risk to your security in the areas close to the border with Iran, Iraq and Syria in southeast Turkey due to the unpredictable security situation. We advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to this area. Cross-border attacks with Syria have occurred and in October 2012 five Turkish citizens were killed when a Syrian shell fell on the Turkish town of Akḉakale. Turkish security forces occasionally undertake air and ground strikes against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in the Turkish-Iraqi border area. New Zealanders should note there is a high level of security activity in these areas and military operations may restrict movement. You are advised to follow the instructions of the Turkish authorities and be aware that failing to comply with restrictions may result in arrest.
There is some risk to your security elsewhere in Turkey due to the threat from terrorism and potential for civil unrest and we advise caution.
International and domestic terrorist groups have conducted attacks in Turkey. In recent years, attacks have occurred in tourist areas and locations frequented by foreigners resulting in deaths and injuries. Terrorist attacks are regularly carried out in the southeast and it is possible attacks could occur in other parts of the country, including in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, other major centres, tourist areas and along the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts. Terrorist attacks typically increase over the summer months.
New Zealanders in Turkey should exercise a high degree of personal security awareness, especially around buildings and sites associated with Turkish security forces. You should also be security conscious around landmark places known to be frequented by foreigners, public transport facilities, other government buildings, places of worship and embassies.
The Kurdistan People's Congress (the PKK) is the most active terrorist group in Turkey. They primarily target Turkish security forces and these attacks occasionally result in civilian deaths and injuries. The PKK is most active in southeast Turkey, but have conducted attacks throughout the country. In March 2012, a group linked to the PKK issued a statement threatening to conduct attacks in tourist areas of Turkey. The Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), an extreme leftist terrorist organisation, has also undertaken attacks in Turkey. While DHKP/C has focused its attacks in the past on Turkish security institutions and symbolic targets, it claimed responsibility for a recent suicide attack against the US Embassy. International terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda, and domestic religious extremist groups have undertaken attacks in Turkey too. Their targets include western interests and Jewish and Christian targets.
Recent attacks in Turkey include:
New Zealanders in Turkey are advised to avoid all political gatherings, protests and demonstrations as even those intended to be peaceful have the potential to turn violent. Police may use tear gas to disperse demonstrations. May Day rallies on 1 May in Istanbul’s Taksim Square have turned violent in the past. New Zealanders throughout Turkey are advised to adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
General travel advice
New Zealanders travelling or living in Turkey should have comprehensive medical and travel insurance policies in place that include provision for medical evacuation by air.
New Zealanders in Turkey are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Contact details are
Street Address Kizkulesi Sokak No. 11, Gaziosmanpasa, Ankara, Turkey
Telephone +90 312 446 3333 Facsimile +90 312 446 3317
Website New Zealand Embassy Turkey [external link]
Office Hours Mon - Fri 0830 - 1700
Street Address Inonu Caddesi No No: 48/3 Taksim, 34437 Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone +90 212 244 0272 Facsimile +90 212 251 4004
Print this page Sunday, 02 June 2013, 13:42 NZST