Republic of Turkey
Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.
Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.
Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.
Six months beyond date of entry
One page for entry and exit stamps
25,000 Turkish lira or 10,000 euros (or equivalent)
On October 8, 2017, the Government of Turkey announced the immediate suspension of most visa services to U.S. citizens, including a suspension of the issuance of physical “sticker” visas at the Turkish Embassy and Consulates in the United States and the suspension of issuance of the online Turkish electronic visa (e-visa) to all U.S. citizens.
Visit the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey website for the most current visa and residency permit information.
Obey all Turkish visa regulations and maintain valid residence permits at all times. The U.S. Embassy is unable to assist with Turkish immigration or visa-related matters. Turkish authorities enforce immigration laws.
Syria: On March 22, 2017, the U.S. Department of State updated its travel warning for Syria. The U.S. Embassy in Damascus closed in February 2012. At this time, the Turkey-Syria border is closed except in cases of urgent medical treatment as defined by the Government of Turkey. The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against all travel to Syria. If you are in Syria holding an expired U.S. passport, and need to enter Turkey, please contact the U.S. Embassy in Ankara for assistance.
Iraq: On June 14, 2017, the U.S. Department of State updated the travel warning for Iraq. The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against all travel to Iraq. Crossing the border from Iraq can be time-consuming as the Turkish Government tightly controls entry and exit.
HIV/AIDS restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Turkey.
Terrorism: The potential for terrorist attacks in Turkey, including against U.S. citizens and interests, remains high.
On September 28, 2017, the Department of State updated its Turkey travel warning to notify U.S. citizens of increased threats of terrorism thorough Turkey, to carefully consider the need to travel to Turkey at this time, and to avoid travel to southeastern Turkey.
U.S. government personnel and their family members residing in or visiting Istanbul are restricted from congregating or traveling in large groups and are not permitted to visit these Istanbul locations without prior approval from the Consulate:
The U.S. government does not allow family members to accompany personnel assigned to U.S. Consulate Adana, unless they are working in the Consulate.
In addition, the ongoing state of emergency, extended through July 18, 2017, has expanded Turkish security forces’ legal ability to detain individuals without charge from a maximum of four days to 30 days or more. It also expands security forces’ authority in stopping, searching and validating identification documents. Those stopped without a passport or identity document are subject to a fine or imprisonment. Travelers may also see an increase in police or military activity and restrictions on movement. Delays or denial of consular access to U.S. citizens , detained or arrested by security forces have occurred. The Turkish government does not permit U.S. consular officers to access detained U.S. citizens who also possess Turkish citizenship, constraining the Department of State’s ability to assist such citizens.
For your own safety:
Known terrorist groups active in Turkey include:
There have also been instances of religious violence targeting individuals in Turkey working as missionaries (a practice that is severely restricted in Turkey) or viewed as having proselytized for a non-Islamic religion. Threats and actual instances of crime have targeted Christian and Jewish individuals, groups, institutions, and places of worship in Turkey, including several high-profile murders of Christians over the last decade. The level of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic sentiment remains significant.
Southeastern Turkey: We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens avoid southeastern Turkey, especially areas close to the Syrian border.
The Government of Turkey has closed its border with Syria. Border crossings from Syria into Turkey are prohibited, even if the traveler entered Syria from Turkey. Individuals seeking emergency medical treatment or safety from immediate danger are assessed on a case by case basis by the Government of Turkey.
The following incidents have taken place in southeastern Turkey:
U.S. Government employees are subject to travel restrictions to the provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Sirnak, Diyarbakir, Van, Siirt, Mus, Mardin, Batman, Bingol, Tunceli, Hakkâri, Bitlis, and Elazig. Mount Ararat, in Ağri province, is a special military zone, and access permission must be obtained before coming to Turkey from the Turkish Government thorough a Turkish Embassy or Consulate.
Crime: Overall street crime in Turkey is low; however, you should use the same precautions you would take in the United States. The following types of crime have been reported in Turkey:
As of July 2015, the U.S. Government no longer uses Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts in Turkey for official travel. The U.S .Embassy has determined that the hotel’s internal policies and procedures for assisting guests who are victims of crime may place travelers at risk. U.S. Citizens should stay at hotels with identifiable security measures in place.
Victims of Crime: We urge U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault to contact the U.S. Embassy or closest consulate.
Report crimes to the local police at 155 and contact the U.S. Embassy or nearest consulate
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance and visit the Embassy webpage for resources.
For further information:
Medical care provided in Turkish hospitals varies greatly. Though new private hospitals in Ankara, Analya, Izmir and Istanbul have modern facilities, equipment, numerous U.S.-trained specialists, and international accreditation, some still may be unable to treat certain serious conditions. Health care standards are lower in small cities in Turkey.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Turkey to ensure the medication is legal in Turkey. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Some medications may be unavailable in Turkey.
For U.S. citizens who live in Turkey, please see the Embassy’s website for information on the Turkish General Health Insurance (GHI) law. If you are considering enrolling in Turkish GHI, carefully research what is and is not covered. Once you enroll in GHI, your coverage can only be cancelled if your residence permit expires or if you no longer reside in Turkey.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Possession of a U.S. passport will not prevent you from being arrested, prosecuted, or jailed overseas.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. Since the July 15, 2016, attempted coup and subsequent state of emergency, the Turkish Government has delayed or denied consular access to U.S. citizens, some of whom also possess Turkish citizenship, who have been detained or arrested by security forces. See our webpage for further information on arrests and click the embedded links for information on the Turkish judicial system and information about legal aid.
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
LGBTI Travelers: Homophobia, transphobia, and intolerance towards homosexuality are widespread throughout Turkey. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals are not protected by anti-discrimination laws and have been the targets of violence in recent years. References in the law relating to “offenses against public morality,” “protection of the family,” and “unnatural sexual behavior,” are sometimes used as a basis for abuse by law enforcement officials. In addition, the law states that “no association may be founded for purposes against law and morality,” a clause which has been used by authorities in attempts to shut down or limit the activities of associations working on LGBTI matters.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: The Turkish constitution prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in the provision of state services, employment, education and access to health care. However, access to buildings and public transportation for the disabled in most cities is quite limited, and generally, accessibility for people with disabilities in Turkey is poor.
Women Travelers: The Embassy is aware of 20 incidents of sexual assault against U.S. citizens in Turkey since 2014, including assaults against tourists traveling alone or in small groups, and at spas and hamams.
See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Earthquakes: Earthquakes occur throughout Turkey. Make contingency plans and leave emergency contact information with family members outside Turkey. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and at Ready.gov. For more information on disaster preparedness, please click on the following links:
Road Conditions and Safety: Roads in Turkey range from single-lane country roads to modern, divided motorways. Highways in the tourist-frequented western, southwestern, and coastal regions of Turkey are generally in good condition and are well maintained, while conditions in other areas vary.
Be extremely cautious while driving at night. We recommend against driving after dark outside major cities. Some locals drive without their lights, or with very low lights, making it difficult to see them. Hazardous objects appear in roadways, such as live or dead animals, large rocks, missing sewer covers, deep holes, or objects that have fallen from vehicles.
In case of an accident or car trouble:
Traffic Laws: Drive defensively at all times. Drivers routinely ignore traffic regulations, including driving through red lights and stop signs, and turning left from the far right lane. These and other similar driving practices cause frequent traffic accidents.
Driver’s license requirements include:
Public Transportation: Turkey has a broad public transportation system including taxis, subways, ferries, high-speed trains, buses and local mini-buses (dolmus). In certain cities, the interconnecting system of buses, subways, and commuter rails are comparable to those in major U.S. cities.
Between cities, Turkey has safe and reliable extensive bus routes and rail service, including a high-speed train that operates between Istanbul, Ankara, Eskisehir, and Konya. Many cities are also served by frequent air service. Domestic airlines are frequently used and affordable.
Taxis are prevalent throughout Turkey and relatively inexpensive compared to U.S. standards. Drivers are generally honest: however, many of them do not speak English. Licensed cabs are metered.
See our Road Safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Turkey’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Turkey’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Turkey should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website (https://homeport.uscg.mil), and the NGA broadcast warnings website https://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.portal - select “broadcast warnings”.