Foreign Office warns of heightened threat in Istanbul

By Lisa James
Home » Foreign Office warns of heightened threat in Istanbul

The UK Foreign Office is warning Brits in Istanbul that there is a heightened threat of terror attacks.

It’s the second update the FCDO has issued in just over two days.

The first, late on Sunday night, did not issue any new information but reminded Brits to be vigilant.

The latest advice has been updated to warn specifically on Istanbul.

It says: “There is currently a heightened threat of terrorist attacks against churches, synagogues, Embassies/Consulates and other places frequented by Westerners in Istanbul.

“The British Consulate General in Istanbul is currently not open to the public as a precaution.

“The Turkish authorities are investigating. You should exercise caution and follow the advice of local security authorities, monitor media reports and keep up to date with this travel advice.”

The FCDO’s existing terror-related advice on Turkey says terror attacks are ‘very likely’ and that there is ‘a potential that citizens from western countries may be targets or caught up in attacks, particularly in the major cities’.

“Attacks could be indiscriminate, and occur without warning, including in places visited by foreigners, affecting public buildings, places of worship, major events or large public gatherings,” the FCDO advice says.

“You should be especially vigilant and where possible avoid places frequented by Westerners, including diplomatic premises, places of worship, and around significant religious occasions and public holidays; terrorist groups sometimes call for attacks around these times.

“Previous methods of attack have included armed assaults, suicide bombings, car bombings, rocket attacks, arson and improvised explosive devices left in refuse bins, crowded areas, shops and on public transport.

“Be vigilant, monitor media reports and keep up to date with this travel advice.

“There is a heightened risk of terrorist attack against the aviation industry in Turkey. You should co-operate fully with security officials at airports.”

Responding to a comment on Twitter, the FCDO said: “We are not advising against travel. No travel is 100% safe. Travel advice, and any other information available, can help you make a decision.

“We encourage British nationals to take out appropriate travel insurance also.”

The latest warning comes two weeks after the FCDO updated advice to people travelling to Turkey this summer, warning of reports of sexual assaults on Brits in resorts, including attacks on children.

In December, the FCDO warned Brits planning to go to Turkey for medical or cosmetic treatments to do their research in light of the fact 22 British nationals on medical tourism visits have died since 2019.

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