Foreign Office issues new travel warning as Turkey earthquake death toll tops 9,500

By Linsey McNeill
08/02/2023
Home » Foreign Office issues new travel warning as Turkey earthquake death toll tops 9,500

The Foreign Office has issued new travel advice for Turkey as rescue workers desperately struggle to free bodies still trapped under the rubble of Monday’s two devastating earthquakes.

A 7.8 earthquake hit Gaziantep and neighbouring provinces in southeast Turkey and in Syria in the early hours of Monday, followed by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake in the nearby Turkish province of Kahramanmaras.

There have been several strong after-shocks.

Three Britons are missing in the region and UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said yesterday that the UK Government is supporting at least 35 other British citizens directly affected by the tragedy.

The Turkish Government has announced a national emergency in the 10 provinces affected, none of which is close to any of the country’s tourist areas.

The closest international tourist resorts are Alanya and Antalya on Turkey’s southern coast, but these are more than 400kms and 600kms from the nearest affected province.

So far, tour operators and airlines have not announced any plans to cancel tours or flights to Turkey.

In an update issued yesterday afternoon, the Foreign Office said: “The Turkish government has announced a national emergency in the 10 provinces affected by the earthquake. These are the provinces of Kahramanmaraş, Gaziantep, Malatya, Diyarbakır, Kilis, Şanlıurfa, Adıyaman, Hatay, Osmaniye, Adana.

“The Turkish Government has stated that only vehicles which carry aid teams and aid materials will be allowed to enter cities deemed to be inside the area of the disaster.

“If you are in Turkey or planning to travel there you should follow the information and advice from local authorities/your tour operator.

“If you’re in the Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras or neighbouring provinces and it is safe to do so, contact your friends and family to tell them you are safe.

“If you require consular assistance, you should call our 24-hour helpline on +90 312 455 3344 and select the option for “consular services for British nationals,” or send an enquiry via the web contact form.

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