The risk of terrorist attacks in Turkey is ‘high’ with further violence ‘likely’, according to travel advice issued by the Foreign Office (FCO).
How many are affected?An estimated 2,500,000 British nationals visit Turkey every year.
Flights to and from Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport were suspended last night after suicide bombers detonated explosives and fired AK-47s at travellers.
The terror attack, claimed by ISIS jihadists, killed at least 41 people and injured another 239 in the arrivals hall of the airport.
Flight are being resumed
Flights are gradually being resumed, but the FCO advises anyone due to travel through the airport to contact their aircraft carrier for updated travel information. It also advises people to check the FCO’s Turkey travel advicewebsite for further updates.
The FCO is advising anyone already at the airport to follow the advice of local security forces.
Warning against all but essential travel to south-east Turkey
The travel advise specifically says to avoid the city of Diyarbakir as well as the areas of Sirnak, mardin, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Kilis, Hatay, Siirt, Tunceli and Hakkari.
Advice states: ‘Security force operations against the PKK and related groups are ongoing in the Sur district of Diyarbakir. The FCO advise against all travel to the city of Diyarbakir. Similar operations have taken place in Sirnak and Hakkari. You should take extreme care in these areas. See safety and security.’
Elsewhere, the advice is to remain vigilant
The FCO says: ‘It’s generally safe to travel but you should take additional safety precautions. You should be alert to your surroundings and remain vigilant in crowded places popular with tourists.’
Who is behind the terrorism threats?
The Foreign Office says the threat is from Kurdish terrorist groups and ISIS as well as far left organisations – with ‘further attacks likely’.
‘Terrorist groups, including Daesh and the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), have publicly threatened to attack tourist sites in Turkey. You should take extra care in public places – particularly those visited by foreigners. Be vigilant, follow the advice of local security authorities, monitor media reports and keep up to date with this travel advice.’
Timeline of recent terror attacks in Turkey
12 January 2016 Suicide bomb attack against tourists in Sultanahmet in Istanbul in which 10 people died.
17 February 2016 Large bomb attack near a military barracks on Eskisehir Road in Ankara killed 28 people.
13 March 2016 Bomb attack killed over 30 people at Kizilay Square in central Ankara.
19 March 2016 Suicide bomb attack on tourists on Istiklal St in Istanbul killed 4 people.
27 April 2016 Suspected suicide bomb attack at Bursa Ulu Mosque. The bomber was killed and 7 people slightly injured.
1 May 2016 Bomb attack at the Central Police Station in Gaziantep killed two police officers and injured 23 others.
7 June 2016 Bomb attack in the Vezneciler area of Istanbul killed 7 police officers and 4 civilians. 36 people were injured.
28 June 2016 Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul was attacked. More than 30 people were killed.