Foreign Office’s Turkey travel warning urges Brits to avoid certain areas

Brits are frantically booking their 2023 holidays this month with flight and hotel searches the highest they’ve been in months.

Whether you’re after a bargain for the summer or a quick trip away in March there’s plenty of options out there.

Travelodge has made it cheaper to bag a UK staycation with two million rooms on sale. While Ryanair is flogging flights from as little as £13.99.

READ MORE: Spain vaccination and mask rules as resort areas update major Covid advice

However, those who plan to travel to sunny Turkey should be aware of the latest UK Foreign Office advice.

The country is a huge destination for Brits each year whether for glamorous city breaks to Istanbul or an unusual break inside the cave city of Goreme.

British nationals made over 3.330 million visits to Turkey in 2022 and according to most of these are peaceful, reports Liverpool Echo.

But, FCDO travel advice now states that you should not visit the province of Hakkari for anything but absolutely essential travel.

The area is in the Eastern part of the country bordering Iraq and Iran on each side.

Hakkari is also not too far from Turkey’s border with Syria which touches the country at Sirnak – which you should also not visit unless “essential”.

Mount Ararat, in Ağrı province, is a special military zone, and access permission must be obtained from the Doğubayazıt Government Office, along with payment of a fee in the local Governor’s Office.

If you are visiting with a travel agent/tour group, you should confirm with them whether you would require an individual permit.

Therefore it is wise to avoid these specific areas and instead aim for safe holiday destinations such as Cappadocia, Istanbul or Antalya.

The website states that Brits should stay aware of their surroundings in Turkey and “ carry your passport and a printed copy of your visa (if applicable) or residence permit at all times”.

You are able to travel to Turkey for up to 90 days in a 180-day period without a visa, but keeping your passport in a money belt is always wise.

Last month, Brits were also issued with a warning over the viral “Turkey teeth”.

The phrase was coined to refer to medical tourists travelling to Turkey to get cheaper veneers or other dental care as well as plastic surgery like BBLs or liposuction.

The UK Government has now updated its travel advice for Turkey and issued a warning for medical tourists.

The Government said: “The term ‘medical tourism’ refers to those tourists who have to chosen to have medical/surgical/dental treatment abroad.

“Cosmetic surgery, dental procedures and cardiac surgery are the most common procedures that medical tourists undertake.

“The standard of medical facilities and available treatments vary widely around the world.

“As such, British nationals considering undertaking medical treatment in Turkey should carry out their own research; it is unwise to rely upon private companies that have a financial interest in arranging your medical treatment abroad.

“We are aware of 22 British nationals who have died in Turkey since January 2019 following medical tourism visits.

“If you are travelling to Turkey to undertake a medical procedure we would advise you to refer to the HealthTurkiye portal website for medical providers who are approved by the Ministry of Health.”

Always check the current FCDO travel advice before booking a holiday or boarding a flight.


  • Get 2023 holidays to Spain, Portugal, Turkey and Greece from £14pp per night

  • currently has Malta and Cyprus holidays from £95 – including flights

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  • Ryanair selling summer flights to Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal and more from £13.99

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