Turkey’s abundance of cultural heritage, fascinating historical sites, stunning architecture, food and people have made it a must-visit vacation destination for decades. Istanbul is an incredibly vibrant city, straddling two continents, but the country is also known for its beautiful landscapes and coastlines.
However, its proximity to the ongoing conflict in Israel, which broke out on Saturday October 7, raises concerns about the safety of travel in this region of the world. Here’s everything we know about traveling to Turkey amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Is it safe to travel to Turkiye right now?
Türkiye was not affected by the conflict in Israel. It depends on where in the country you are traveling, but the majority of destinations in Turkey are safe and tourist-friendly. Some areas experienced wildfires over the summer and the UK Foreign Office rates the terrorist threat as “very high”. However, traveling to Türkiye is not recommended.
A city blessed with stunning beaches and brimming with ancient Greek and Roman remains, Antalya is one of Turkey’s fastest-growing tourist destinations.
The province experienced wildfires earlier this year, which started in the forests of Kemer. However, the area is considered a safe place to travel since the fires were brought under control.
What does the British Foreign Office say?
THE United Kingdom Foreign Office advises against all travel within a 10 km radius of the border with Syria. It also advises against all but essential travel with Sirnak (city) and Hakkari (province).
Travelers are free to visit the rest of Turkey, but the advice is to remain vigilant. Political protests can break out unexpectedly and the country is considered to face a “very high” threat of terrorist attacks. The webpage also states that Turkey is prone to forest fires during the summer and recommends using caution when passing through forested areas.
What about travel advice for Turkey?
The advice of Advice for travelers to Türkiye is similar to that of the British Foreign Office. It marks Sirnak, Hakkari and any place within a 10km radius of the Syrian border as level four, meaning “do not travel”.
Advice for the rest of Turkey encourages travelers to remain vigilant, avoid protests and crowds, and monitor local media for up-to-date information. You can learn more about Turkey Travel Advisory’s recommendations on their webpage.
How far is Türkiye from Israel?
Türkiye is 879 km from Israel, approximately an hour and a half flight. Turkey is to the north of Israel and the two countries do not share a border.
Is it safe to travel to other countries near Israel?
The Foreign Office does not currently advise against travel to countries bordering Israel, but advice could change quickly as violence escalates.
You can find out more at our travel tips for Israel and Egypt here.
For more information on how to help people affected by the conflict, you can read our guide to where to donate here.
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