Turkey Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Nov 21, 2003
This Travel Warning is being issued to alert U.S. citizens to security
concerns in Turkey. In light of the recent terrorist bombings, the
Department of State recommends U.S citizens defer non-essential travel to
Turkey. The Embassy in Ankara and Consulates in Istanbul, Adana, and Izmir
remain open to provide services to American citizens.
The potential for violence and terrorist actions against U.S. citizens and
interests continues. On November 15, two synagogues in Istanbul were the
targets of suicide car bombs. On November 20, the British Consulate General
and the London-based HSBC bank in Istanbul were damaged by powerful
explosions, killing dozens and wounding hundreds. These incidents represent
a significant change from prior attacks in Turkey, which have previously
involved small-scale, random bombings and small numbers of casualties. The
investigations of the recent incidents in Istanbul remain in their initial
stages and it is currently unclear which group is responsible for these
Terrorist actions may include, but are not limited to, suicide operations,
hijackings, bombings, or kidnappings. Terrorists do not distinguish between
official and civilian targets. Increased security at official U.S.
facilities has led terrorists and their sympathizers to seek softer targets
such as public transportation, residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places
of worship, hotels, schools, outdoor recreation events, resorts and beaches.
U.S. citizens should remain in a heightened state of personal security
awareness when attendance at such locations is unavoidable.
All American citizens are urged to continue to exercise extreme caution and
to maintain a low profile throughout Turkey. We reiterate Department of
State advice to American citizens to take prudent steps to ensure their
personal safety. Remain vigilantly aware of surroundings, listen to news
reports, avoid crowds and demonstrations, keep a low profile, and vary times
and routes for all travel. We will continue to review the security
situation and adjust the travel warning accordingly.
We also note that a Worldwide Caution for American citizens remains in
effect. Recent bombings underscore the Department of State's continuing
concern over the increasing focus by terrorists on "soft" targets overseas.
As the Department continues to develop information on any potential security
threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information
through its Consular Information Program documents, available on the
Internet at http://travel.state.gov. In addition to information on the
Internet, U.S. travelers can get up-to-date information on security
conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 in the U.S. and outside the U.S. and
Canada on a regular toll line at 1-317-472-2328.
The U.S. Embassy in Ankara is located at 110 Ataturk Boulevard, tel:
(90)(312) 455-5555, fax (90)(312) 466-5684. Additional information may be
found on the Embassy website at ankara.usembassy.gov. The Embassy maintains
an English language hotline providing information on current travel
conditions in Turkey at (90)(312) 455-5555 ext. 5009.
The U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, Turkey, is located at Kaplicalar
Mevkii Sokak, No. 2, Istinye 34460. The telephone number is (90)(212)
335-9000, fax (90)(212) 335-9102. Additional information may be found on
the consulate website at istanbul.usconsulate.gov or
The U.S. Consulate in Adana is at the corner of Vali Yolu and Ataturk
Caddesi, tel: (90)(322) 459-1551, fax (90)(322) 457-6591.
The U.S. Consulate in Izmir can be reached at (90)(232) 464-8755.