The Australian Government has increased the level of concern in the travel advice for two cities in Turkey, Istanbul and Ankara, to ‘reconsider your need to travel’.
The travel advice has been reissued following the deaths of more than 80 people in four separate suicide bombings in Istanbul and Ankara in 2016. Terrorist groups continue to threaten further attacks, including targeting tourists and westerners.
The Australian Government does not take this decision lightly. The travel advice for Turkey, like all travel advisories, remains under close review and represents our best assessment of the safety and security environment that Australian travellers will experience in Turkey.
I am conscious of the effect of this on the many Australians planning to attend this year’s Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli. The Australian Government is not aware of any specific threat to Anzac Day services planned on the Gallipoli peninsula or to other Australian interests in Turkey. The overall level of advice for Turkey, including Canakkale and the Gallipoli peninsula, remains at ‘exercise a high degree of caution’.
Australians travelling to the Anzac Day services should minimise any transit time spent in Istanbul and Ankara, including in tourist and other public areas.
We continue to work very closely with New Zealand and Turkey to ensure the safety and security of Australians and New Zealanders attending the Anzac Day ceremonies. We greatly appreciate the extensive security arrangements put in place by Turkish authorities on the Gallipoli peninsula.
I encourage all Australians visiting Turkey to read and subscribe to the travel advice at smartraveller.gov.au, register their travel details and obtain comprehensive travel insurance.