State Department: Turkey - Warning, March 13, 1992
TURKEY - WARNING
Summary. The Department of State continues to warn American
citizens to exercise caution in Turkey and to defer all
non-essential and tourist travel to southeastern Turkey. Areas to
avoid are specified in the full text below. Americans may travel to
the key tourist destinations of western Turkey in relative security
by taking normal precautions. While there have been a number of
urban terrorist attacks, Turkish authorities are actively working to
prevent terrorism. Unauthorized purchase or removal of antiquities
and cultural artifacts is strictly forbidden. End summary.
March 13, 1992
The Department of State warns American citizens to exercise caution
in Turkey. While Turkish authorities are actively working to
prevent terrorism, urban terrorist attacks have caused injuries and
loss of life. Several bombs have exploded in Istanbul in recent
weeks, although most were not in areas frequented by foreigners.
Terrorist attacks have also targeted the personnel and property of
organizations with official and commercial ties to the United
States. In addition, visitors may encounter unexpected street
demonstrations. American citizens should avoid areas where such
demonstrations are in progress. Travelers to the main tourist
destinations should also take normal personal safety precautions
aginst petty crime.
United States citizens should defer all non-essential and tourist
travel to southeastern Turkey. Three Americans were kidnapped in
Bingol Province in August 1991, and held for three weeks. Other
foreign travelers have also been kidnapped. Sporadic attacks by
terrorists continue to occur against Turkish police and civilians in
several southeastern provinces of Turkey. The Turkish Government
has established an emergency situation Regional Governor at
Diyarbakir who has authority over the following provinces:
Diyarbakir, Sirnak, Batman, Bingol, Van, Siirt, Mardin, Hakkari,
Tunceli, and Elazig. In addition, this Regional Governor also
exercises some authority over the adjacent provinces of Bitlis,
Adiyaman and Mus.
Travelers should also note that there have been separatist
terrorist incidents in other provinces of eastern Turkey including
Kars, Agri, Kahraman Maras, Sanliurfa, Malatlya, Erzincan and
Erzurum. In Kars province, a group of foreign tourists, including
Americans, was attacked by terrorists.
Individuals who must travel to southeastern Turkey despite this
warning should be off the road well in advance of dusk and should
not travel until daybreak. Travel off main highways or in remote
areas should be avoided. Travelers should cooperate with travel
restrictions or other security measures imposed by Turkish
authorities. Visitors to other parts of Turkey are likewise urged
to avoid travel by road at night due to local driving conditions.
U.S. citizens traveling to Turkey should check upon arrival with
the U.S. Embassy in Ankara or the U.S. Consulates in Istanbul,
Izmir, or Adana to learn whether there are special travel
restrictions in particular provinces.
Finally, travelers are reminded that unauthorized purchase or
removal from Turkey of antiquities or other important cultural
artifacts is strictly forbidden. Violation of this law may result
in imprisonment. Travelers who wish to purchase such items should
always insist that the seller provide a receipt and the official
museum export certificate required by law.
This replaces the January 8, 1992 travel advisory to reflect recent
bombings in Istanbul.