News report | | 05/02/2018 | ±3 minutes reading time

Last New Yearʼs Eve, there was a terrorist attack in Istanbul that killed 39 people and injured another 70. This terrible event has also had a major impact on tourism in Turkey.

After last yearʼs coup, many travellers have questions about whether it is safe to travel to Turkey again. Alternatives to Istanbul, such as Bodrum or Antalya, are becoming more popular. According to the latest statistics, there has been a sharp decline in the numbers of tourists travelling to Istanbul. Last year, it was found that the Turkish city welcomed 19 percent fewer tourists compared to the previous year.

Istanbul aan het waterIstanbul on the waterfront

According to the latest statistics, Istanbul is on the rise again after January 2017. Tourism in this Turkish city has shown a growth of 37 percent since July 2017. There has also been about a 30 percent growth in August and September. It seems that more and more tourists have confidence in Istanbul again.

Image damage

The terrorist events and the coup have impacted the image of Istanbul as a tourist destination. The Turkish government is doing everything possible to shake off the image as an unsafe holiday destination. Because of the troubling events, hotels have experienced 55 percent fewer guests.

The political situation in Turkey is also less tense compared to a year ago. Still, travellers seem to become victims of terrorist attacks more often during the holiday period. Several experts believe that tourists are concerned about the international problems in Turkey and have avoided the country for that reason.

Managers of various international airlines emphasize that Istanbul is a unique metropolis, with its own history and culture. That culture will not be lost despite the attacks, and so there remains a reason to travel to Istanbul. Although less so in Europe, the UK still sees Turkey as a holiday destination. 1.7 million UK travellers flew to Turkey last year. Most tourists arrived in Turkey without any problems and left the country without any problems. However, there are stricter controls on Turkey visas and expired ID cards. Read more about security in Turkey.

Checkpoints on public roads

Finally, Turkey has taken emergency measures by establishing checkpoints on public roads. The advice from travel experts is to cooperate with these checks. Always keep the passport handy and take a copy of the e-visa with you. Any proof of hotel bookings can also help speed up checks.

Official advice

The UK Foreign Office has issued a travel advisory for Turkey. Therefore, the government advises against using the border crossing at Habur. Due to the state of emergency, mainly UK nationals with Turkish nationality face interrogation and prosecution. In some cases, criminal proceedings are instituted, leading to detention on remand. Legal assistance is not always possible.

Stay alert in Turkey. Do not participate in demonstrations or be among large groups of people, and avoid crowded places. The country has been under a state of emergency since July 21, 2016, which is still in effect.

The UK Home Office additionally recommends avoiding the border areas with Syria and Iraq. Special military zones have been established between Turkey and Syria, such as the province of Gaziantep. Therefore, do not travel to such border areas. Travel to border provinces with Syria and Iraq only when necessary, and avoid southeastern Turkey. At all times, consult local news through the local media. Always follow the instructions of the local authorities.

It is important to have valid identification and a Turkey Visa. This may be asked for several times during the trip. Be alert throughout Turkey: Europeans are at increased risk of terrorist attacks.

Take note: this news article about the visa for Turkey is more than one year old. It might contain outdated information and advice, and no rights can therefore be derived from this article. Are you going on a trip soon and do you wish to do know what rules currently apply? Read all about the up-to-date information about the visa for Turkey.