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Turkey

If you’re travelling to Turkey, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information. 

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Health
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

For the latest update please read the General COVID-19 Travel Advisory >

Overview

Security status

High Degree of Caution

Security Status Last Updated: 26 July 2021

Latest Travel Alert

COVID-19 is still a threat, but with continued public health measures, vaccination and testing, it will be possible to travel internationally. You will need to plan your travel carefully and there are risks.

Department of Foreign Affairs services and practical supports to all Irish Citizens travelling abroad can be found on dfa.ie/Travel

Travel to Turkey

Passengers travelling from Ireland to Turkey who can provide evidence from the relevant authorities that they have been vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arriving in Turkey and/or have had COVID-19 within the last 6 months (the six month period starts from the 28th day after the first positive PCR test result) will not be asked to present a negative PCR test report before entry and will not be required to quarantine.

Passengers travelling from Ireland to Turkey who do not provide such evidence will be required to present a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours or a negative rapid antigen test report taken within 48 hours.

All passengers are required to complete and present the online ‘Turkey Entrance Form prior to travel: Transit passengers and Children under 12 are exempt from these requirements.

For up to date information please see: Turkish Ministry of Health web page

There may be additional restrictions in place if you are travelling to Turkey from locations other than Ireland.

General Travel Advice

All passengers arriving into Turkey need to wear a mask on the plane and in the airport at all times. Transit passengers are advised to review the flight restrictions and PCR test requirements applied by the destination country.

Six-month passport validity is required from the date of entry to Turkey. Please check your passport in plenty of time before travel as you may be refused entry. The Embassy cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet the entry requirements. If your passport needs to be renewed, please use our Online Passport Renewal System. Please see the Additional Information tab for visa and tourist residence permit requirements.

A personal ‘HES’ code is mandatory for domestic flights and to enter some public buildings including shopping malls. Only Turkish citizens and residents with Foreigner’s ID starting with 97, 98, or 99 are required to get this code. See here for information on how to obtain a HES code.

If you are in Turkey, you should monitor developments and local media regularly. You should follow the advice of authorities, in particular related to any restrictions such as curfews. The situation is subject to change at short notice. 

We strongly advise against all travel within 10 kilometres of the border between Turkey and Syria and to Diyarbakir city. We advise against all but essential travel to the remaining areas of the provinces of Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Mardin, Şanliurfa and Sirnak. In addition, we recommend against all but essential travel to all areas of Siirt, Tunceli and Hakkari provinces.

Our general advice to Irish citizens in Turkey or those who intend to travel to Turkey is to exercise a high degree of caution at all times. You should avoid all protests and demonstrations and minimise time spent in crowded areas, particularly those frequented by foreigners, follow local security advice, and monitor local media. You should also devise and/or review a personal security plan.

Please also be aware that the police in Turkey can take measures such as the use of tear gas to control protesters. Ensure you have a charged mobile phone at all times. Please carry ID / passport / visa at all times, presenting to security officers if requested (and keep a copy to hand also).

You can contact the emergency services in Turkey by dialling:

  • 101/112 – Ambulance
  • 102 – Fire
  • 100 – Police

 

Travel to Ireland

Up to date information on travelling to Ireland can be found on gov.ie 

Information on Travel within Europe (EU/EEA) can also be found on Re-open EU.

 

 

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Terrorism

The threat from terrorism in Turkey remains high, with bomb attacks in major Turkish cities, including Istanbul and Ankara. Although some attacks have targeted security forces, there have also been random attacks in tourist areas The situation in the south-east of the country is particularly serious and these areas should be avoided (see below).

Terrorist attacks are, by their nature, random and indiscriminate and cannot be predicted in advance. You are advised to exercise a high degree of caution, particularly in public places that are frequented by foreigners.

Political unrest

The political situation in Turkey is reasonably stable but always keep yourself informed of what's going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser.

We strongly advise against all travel within 10 kilometres of the border between Turkey and Syria and to Diyarbakir city. We advise against all but essential travel to the remaining areas of provinces of Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Mardin, Şanliurfa, and Sirnak . In addition, we recommend against all but essential travel to the Siirt, Tunceli and Hakkari provinces.

While areas popular with Irish travellers are located at a substantial distance from these regions, vigilance is also required in tourist areas such as at Taksim Square in Istanbul and locations close to police stations, which may be targets for terrorist attacks. We also urge caution if using public transport, in particular the metro systems in Istanbul and Ankara.

Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can turn confrontational. The police will take measures such as the use of tear gas to control protesters. Stay away from military sites – taking photos of, or near, military or security installations and some public buildings, may be prohibited.

Crime

Violent crime against tourists in Turkey is rare but street robbery and pickpocketing are common in the major tourist areas of Istanbul. The Embassy in Ankara has also been made aware of a number of cases of tourists being intimidated into paying extortionate bills at bars and nightclubs in Istanbul. Remain vigilant when frequenting such establishments. There have been a number of cases of theft from apartments and cars in some of the coastal resorts, as well as in Istanbul and Ankara. Take heed of your local tour operator representative's advice, and wherever you are, take sensible precautions.

  • Don't carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place 
  • Don't carry your passport unless absolutely necessary, but carry a copy of it in case you are stopped by police. Also leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home. Ensure that at least one family member in Ireland is aware of your location and travel plans in Turkey, should an emergency arise communications by email or mobile phone can be difficult.
  • Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don't use ATMs after dark, especially if you are alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
  • Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafes, train and bus stations
  • Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
  • Do not leave valuables, or bags which may appear to contain valuables, visible in parked cars.

Reporting a crime

If you are a victim of a crime while in Turkey, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us the Irish Embassy or our Honorary Consuls if you need help.

Driving

If you're planning to drive in Turkey, you should be extremely careful. Serious traffic accidents are common, particularly at night. Road safety standards are low, particularly outside towns and cities. Accidents are frequent and are often caused by poor driving, badly maintained vehicles and inadequate lighting. Pedestrians should also exercise caution at all times, including at zebra crossings, for example, as drivers rarely stop to allow pedestrians to cross.

If you want to drive:

  • Bring your full Irish driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught.
  • Be aware of Turkey's traffic laws, such as speed limits.
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you are stopped at traffic lights.

Hiring a vehicle

If you are hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you are allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Taxis

In Istanbul, avoid hailing taxis on the street and only use taxis ordered by your hotel or those ordered directly from a taxi kiosk.

Extreme sports

If you participate in extreme sports (including hot-air ballooning), satisfy yourself that adequate safety precautions are in place. There have been a number of hot-air ballooning accidents in Cappadocia in recent months, which have led to a number of fatalities.  There have also been a number of fatalities and serious injuries in paragliding accidents in the resorts of Oludeniz and Fethiye. Only use reputable operators and insist on training before use. Make sure your travel insurance covers you for all the activities you want to undertake, as often they are excluded in standard policies

Stray dogs

Stray street dogs are common in most towns and cities in Turkey. Local authorities take action to control and manage numbers but packs congregate in parks and wastelands and can, at times, be aggressive. Avoid approaching these dogs but if bitten, seek immediate medical advice as rabies and other animal borne diseases are present in Turkey.

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal.

Muslim culture

Turkey is an Islamic country and you should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions. Normally, the dress code in Turkey is the same as in Europe, however, you should dress modestly if visiting a mosque or a religious shrine (long trousers or dress and women should wear a headscarf).  

You should always ask permission before photographing people. 

Illegal drugs

Turkey has strict laws against the use, possession or trafficking of illegal drugs. If you are convicted of any of these offences, you can expect to receive a heavy fine and a prison sentence of up to 15 years. The Embassy maintains a list of English-speaking lawyers, but cannot get involved in legal cases.

Health

Health

If you need urgent health treatment during your stay, you should dial 112 to contact the emergency health services

Travel Insurance

We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.

Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.

Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.

Mental Health

 
Please be aware that the standard of mental healthcare in Turkey differs from Ireland. It can be difficult to access appropriate medical facilities that have mental healthcare professionals who speak English. Pre-existing mental health issues should be declared when purchasing travel insurance as otherwise the policy may not cover treatment or hospital costs.
 
Please consult your doctor before travelling. Ensure you have sufficient amount of medication for your trip, along with an up-to-date prescription or letter from your doctor. Be aware that heat and hot weather can impact mental health and the effectiveness of certain medication.
 
If you become concerned for your mental health (or the mental health of a friend / family member) while in Turkey please contact the Embassy (+90 312 4591000) or the Consular Assistance team in Dublin (+353 1 408 2000). We can direct you to local medical facilities and help you make contact with friends / family in Turkey or Ireland. Please note the Embassy cannot provide medical advice or funds to return home.  

Emergency expenses

Your policy should cover:

  • All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
  • Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.   
  • 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
  • Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
  • Lost and stolen possessions.
  • Cancellation and curtailment.
  • Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).

Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.

Water

There have been water-quality issues in Turkey and visitors are advised to use bottled water whenever possible.

Additional Information

Additional information

If you have concerns about future travel plans and COVID-19 safety measures in place, please contact your airline.  Please see here for announcements by airlines that operate Ireland–Turkey routes regarding restrictions / disruptions due to Coronavirus (COVID-19):  

Aer Lingus

Ryanair

Sunway Express

Turkish Airlines

For up to date information on which international flight routes are operating, please see the following links for airports in Turkey:

Ankara Airport (ESB)

Antalya Airport (AYT)

Bodrum Airport (BJV)

Dalaman Airport (DLM)

Izmir Airport (ADB)

Istanbul Airport (IST)

Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen (SAW)

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.

There is no visa requirement for Irish citizens coming to Turkey for touristic purposes (up to 90 days in any 180-day period).  Irish citizens travelling to Turkey for other purposes should contact their nearest Turkish Embassy in advance of their visit to clarify their visa requirements. Contact details for the Turkish Embassy in Dublin are available at http://dublin.emb.mfa.gov.tr/ContactInfo.aspx

Six month passport validity is required from the date of entry to Turkey. Please check your passport in plenty of time before travel and if it needs to be renewed please use our Online Passport Renewal System.

Tourist residence permit

If you wish to stay longer in Turkey as a tourist, you must apply for a tourist residence permit from the Foreigners Police Department in your local area of residence in Turkey. The new tourist residence permit may be granted for a maximum stay of six months. The maximum length of time you can stay in Turkey as a tourist is nine consecutive months.

Residence permit

If you want to study, work or stay beyond 90 days in Turkey you must apply for the appropriate visa and/or residence permit from the Turkish authorities. Residence permits for Irish citizens are free of charge, though you have to pay for the residence permit booklet. Applications and requests for further information should be directed towards the Foreigners’ Branch of your local police station or to the nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate. Residence permits are not free of charge for all foreign nationals, so you may find that you have to insist that this is the case when you apply for a permit.

Overstaying your visa

Overstaying your visa can result in heavy fines and/or a ban on re-entering Turkey for up to five years, depending on the length of the overstay, and you’ll need to apply for a visa from the nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate before returning to Turkey. Departing Turkey without paying the relevant fine will lead to an automatic five year ban on re-entry.

Visa requirements for Irish citizens are a matter for the Turkish immigration authorities and the Irish Embassy cannot intervene in individual cases relating to visas and overstays.

Travelling with children

If you are leaving Turkey with a child who is a dual Irish-Turkish national, you may be asked to show the Turkish immigration authorities evidence that the Turkish parent has given permission for the child to travel.

Buying property

If you’re intending to buy property in Turkey, we strongly advise you to consult an independent legal advisor from the beginning of the process. Procedures in relation to property purchases differ significantly from those in Ireland and investors are advised to research the matter thoroughly before entering into any agreement.

For general advice on property purchases in Turkey, check the Turkish Ministry for Foreign Affairs Guidance for Foreigners.

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

Please note that if you require assistance in the case of an emergency while the Embassy is closed, contact the main Embassy number, 00 90 312 4591000, and leave a message on the Duty Officer voice mailbox. This mailbox will be monitored regularly. Please have an English speaker leave the initial message.

Embassy of Ireland
Ugur Mumcu Caddesi No.88
MNG Binasi
B Blok Kat 3
Gaziosmanpasa
Ankara 06700
Turkey

Tel: +90 312 459 1000
Fax: +90 312 446 8061

Monday to Friday 09:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:00

Contact us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Mr. Mehmet Seçkin Arkan
Honorary Consul of Ireland
Elmali Mah.Subasi Cad. 13. Sk.
Balcilar Is Mrk.No:10/5
07040 Muratpasa
Antalya
Turkey

Tel: +90 242 247 8945
Fax: +90 242 243 0613

Email: Email us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Mr Bulent Akgerman
Honorary Consul of Ireland
Sheit Fethi Bey cad. No.55k.
18 Heris Tower Pasaport 35210
Izmir
Turkey

Tel: + 90 232 402 5353
Fax: + 90 232 445 9696

Email: Email us