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Britons warned about holidaying in Turkey as tourists are told to ‘be extra vigilant’

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Whether you’re after a beach holiday, glorious resort stay or city break filled with food and fabulous landmarks, Turkey has it all.

The beautiful country, which is partly located in Europe and partly in Asia, is very popular among Britons. However, holidaymakers have been issued a warning with regards to their safety in the country.


The UK Government updated its Turkey travel advice, with updated information on 2023 crime statistics, as well as comments about the nation and flag.

Crime

Sexual assault

GOV.UK stated: “In 2023, 42 cases of sexual assault, including rape, were reported to British consular staff in Turkey. Most sexual assault cases reported to British consular staff in Turkey have happened during summer holidays in coastal tourist areas.

“Many were committed at night by someone the victim met during the day, including hotel workers. There have also been sexual attacks on minors visiting toilet facilities alone. Be extra vigilant in these situations.”

Do you have a travel story you’d like to share? Contact our team by emailing lifestyle@gbnews.uk.

Istanbul boasts beautiful landmarks, exceptional views, delicious food and a vibrant culture

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Britons should also be aware of street robberies and pick-pocketing, which are” common in the major tourist areas of Istanbul”.

Tourists were also warned about drink and food spiking. Holidaymakers must beware of strangers offering them food and drink, to change money, or to take them to a restaurant or club.

GOV.UK also warned that in a small number of cases, counterfeit alcohol has caused the death of tourists. Britons were urged to seek advice from their tour operator or the Turkish authorities if they have any concerns.

Tourists to Turkey were also advised to take registered taxis rather than accept lifts from strangers. Ensure that you note the registration number before getting in a taxi.

Comments about the nation and flag

GOV.UK said: “It is illegal to insult the Turkish nation, state or the national flag, or to deface Turkish currency. These laws can also apply to comments or images online wherever they were uploaded.

“Offences under these laws carry a penalty in Turkey of a prison sentence of between six months and three years.”

Britons should be aware of other risk factors if they plan on visiting Turkey, one being terrorism.

The Government warned: “There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. You should remain vigilant at all times.”

For information on how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad, Britons can consult GOV.UK.

GOV.UK said: “Most terrorist attacks have happened in Southeast Turkey, Ankara and Istanbul. Citizens from Western countries may be targets or caught up in attacks, particularly in major cities.

Cyprus

Britons have also been given updated travel advice to Cyprus regarding airport arrival and political demonstration risks

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Terrorists may target places visited by foreigners, such as public buildings, places of worship, major events and large public gatherings.

Holidaymakers should follow the advice of the local security authorities, monitor media reports and cooperate fully with security officials at airports.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advises against all travel within 10km of the border with Syria, all but essential travel to Sirnak (city), and all but essential travel to Hakkari province.

For more information on the Government’s advice for travel in Turkey, consult GOV.UK. This will include guidance on terrorism, the political situation, crime, laws and cultural differences, outdoor activities and adventure tourism, transport risks, and extreme weather and natural disasters.

Britons have also been given a warning about another popular tourist destination as “tensions heighten”.

Tourists were given updated airport arrival guidance and information on political demonstration risks.

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