Türkiye travel advice

Latest updates: Risk level(s); Safety and security – added information on the security situation at the border with Iraq

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Risk level

Türkiye - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Türkiye due to the threat of terrorist attacks and the possibility of demonstrations throughout the country.

Borders with Iraq and Syria - Avoid all travel

Avoid all travel to within 10 km of the borders with Iraq and Syria, due to the unpredictable security situation and the threat of terrorism.

 

Earthquake-affected provinces - Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to the following provinces due to the damages caused by the earthquakes:

  • Kahramanmaraş
  • Malatya
  • Kilis
  • Hatay

 

Southeastern provinces - Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to the following southeastern provinces due to an unpredictable security situation:

  • Batman
  • Bingöl
  • Bitlis
  • Hakkari
  • Kilis
  • Siirt
  • Șirnak
  • Tunceli

 

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Safety and security

Protests related to the situation in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

Since October 17, 2023, protests have been taking place throughout Türkiye due to the ongoing situation in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Some protesters have targeted and vandalized popular Western-branded businesses and foreign diplomatic missions in Ankara, Istanbul and Adana, especially those of the United States and Israel. The protests have led to confrontations between protesters and security forces, road closures and traffic disruptions.

Additional protests at various locations cannot be ruled out and could pose a risk to your safety, regardless of your nationality.

Turkish authorities have employed enhanced measures to respond to demonstrations, including:

  • deploying additional security forces
  • using crowd dispersal methods

If you are near an affected area:

  • exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • expect heightened security measures
  • avoid all demonstrations and gatherings
  • follow the instructions of local authorities
  • plan and use alternative routes

Armed attacks

Turkish authorities remain on alert following armed attacks in Istanbul at the Italian Santa Maria Catholic Church on January 28, 2024 and the Caglayan Courthouse on February 6, 2024.

If you are in Istanbul, you should:

  • exercise increased caution
  • expect a heightened security presence
  • follow the instructions of local authorities
  • monitor local media

Borders with Iraq and Syria

Despite counter-terrorism operations conducted by Turkish and Iraqi security forces, a threat of terrorism subsists at the border between Türkiye and Iraq. Violent attacks on sites held by terrorist groups or against Turkish and Iraqi security forces occur frequently.

Extremist groups have carried out attacks at border crossings and other locations in Syria close to the Turkish border. The Turkish government has declared some areas in villages along the border with Syria special security zones as part of cross-border military operations.

Foreigners and individuals associated to Western countries are targets for kidnappings and violence by terrorist groups in border areas with Iraq and Syria.

Border areas with Iraq and Syria are subject to extremely dangerous military activities, such as:

  • drone attacks
  • heavy gunfire
  • improvised explosive devices (IEDs) explosions

If you travel near the border with Iraq and/or Syria despite the advisory in effect:

  • exercise extreme caution
  • expect a heightened military presence and movement restrictions
  • avoid travelling after dark
  • monitor local and international media to stay informed on current clashes
  • follow instructions from local authorities and security forces

Southeast region 

Terrorist groups have launched deadly terrorist attacks against Turkish security personnel in several cities and regions in the south and southeast of the country.

  • Remain vigilant
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local and international media

There is a risk, particularly to foreigners, of kidnapping in the area (see Kidnapping, below). Maintain a high level of vigilance at all times.

Avoid overland travel. If you must, drive during the day and stay on major roads. Don’t use public transportation.

Terrorism

There is an ongoing threat of terrorism from domestic and international terrorist groups in Türkiye. Many attacks have occurred throughout the country. Although most have occurred in the south and east, some also took place in major cities like Istanbul and Ankara.

Attacks have targeted:

  • Turkish military and government facilities
  • places of worship
  • tourist attractions and popular public places
  • nightclubs and entertainment venues
  • public transportation
  • airports

Further attacks may occur, and terrorists may also target:

  • crowded places
  • places with high pedestrian traffic and where foreigners may gather
  • commercial establishments
  • local government offices
  • public transit stations
  • busy streets
  • long queues at tourist attractions

Turkish security officials may set up roadblocks or close streets when they receive reports on specific threats. It is common to have a proactive police presence.

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times in public places
  • Avoid large crowds
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities at all times

Mountaineering and hiking

Mount Ararat, between the eastern provinces of Agri and Igdir, is designated a special military zone. You must hire the services of a locally licensed guide agency if you intend to hike in the area. A licensed company will obtain the necessary permits and assign you a registered Mountaineer to accompany you throughout your hike.

If you intend on engaging in mountaineering or hiking:

  • never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp
  • know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
  • obtain detailed information on trekking routes or ski slopes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails

Accurate information on mountain conditions can be difficult to obtain. Weather in mountainous areas can also be unpredictable.

Identification

Random ID checks and ‎roadblocks may take place in large cities and on intercity roads.

Cooperate during ID checks and always carry your passport and visa or residence permit. Failure to produce these documents or non-compliance with Turkish officials during identity checks could result in fines, detainment or deportation.

Turkish authorities have detained and prosecuted large numbers of people over social media posts criticizing the government, state officials, president, military operations, etc. You could be subject to scrutiny if you posted similar comments, even if a post was published years ago or outside of Türkiye.

  • Keep in mind the sensitivities
  • Think twice before posting or reacting to online content criticizing the government
  • Restrain and limit your social media footprint

Kidnapping

There is a threat of kidnapping-for-ransom along Türkiye’s borders with Syria and Iraq. Extremist groups take advantage of porous borders and an unpredictable security situation to carry out operations and use kidnapping as a means of raising funds.

They may target the local population, foreigners and even foreign aid workers.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Crime

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, can occur throughout Türkiye.

  • Avoid showing signs of affluence
  • Ensure that your belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times
  • If travelling by car, keep valuable belongings out of sight, windows closed and doors locked

Muggings, assaults and sexual assaults occur.

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery. Do not accept food and drinks from strangers, even if the wrapping or container appears intact.

Don’t go to down-market bars and neighbourhoods. One scam, particularly common in Istanbul, involves locals inviting tourists to bars for food and drinks and then forcing them to pay a steep bill.

Don’t accept letters, parcels or other items from strangers. Drug traffickers sometimes attempt to convince foreigners to deliver packages and messages into and out of Türkiye.

Fraud

Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:

  • pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
  • use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements

If you’re travelling to Türkiye to meet someone you’ve only met online, or the person in Türkiye asks to wire money, you may be the victim of a scam. Don’t send money to someone you have never met in person.

Overseas fraud

Women’s safety

There is a risk of sexual assault.

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse. Be aware of your surroundings.

Dress conservatively, especially in areas outside major cities and coastal resorts.

Advice for women travellers

Stray animals

There are numerous stray dogs and cats in Türkiye. Dogs often travel in packs and could attack pedestrians and joggers.

Don’t attempt to feed or pet stray animals.

Road safety

Türkiye has a modern road network. However, uneven surfaces and poorly marked lane changes near construction zones, are common.

Exercise caution, especially when driving in the rain. Severe weather conditions may seriously affect road conditions.

Ensure that your vehicle is in good repair. Avoid driving after dark outside of major cities or major roads.

Accidents are common. You may face the following hazards when driving in the country:

  • reckless driving
  • speeding
  • vehicle breakdown due to poor maintenance practices
  • dangerous road conditions
  • inadequate lighting
  • poor signage
  • high-volume traffic congestion

If you come across an accident, don’t slow down or stop to observe.

If you are involved in an accident, lock your doors and windows and call 112 to notify the police.

Don’t move your vehicle until advised to do so by the police, even if your accident results in:

  • blocked traffic routes
  • injuries to those involved
  • a disagreement
  • a crowd starting to form

You may be permitted to move your vehicle after communicating with the police if you are on a busy road, once you have taken pictures of the scene.

Although pedestrians officially have the right of way, it may not be the case in practice.

General Directorate of Highways

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

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Entry and exit requirements

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from Turkish authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the duration of stay indicated on your visa, e-Visa, visa exemption or residence permit.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Work visa: required
Tourism visa: not required for stays of up to 90 days in a 180-day period
Business visa: required
Student visa: required
Medical visa: required

If you are travelling to Türkiye to seek medical services, apply for a medical visa through the HealthTürkiye online portal. You should also consult our advice on medical tourism under the Health section before applying for a medical visa.

If you are travelling to Türkiye and need a visa, use the official Turkish government site to apply online and purchase an e-visa before entering the country. Be cautious of third-party websites that offer help in getting any type of visa, as they charge additional fees to provide information and submit applications for you. They are not operating on behalf of the Government of Türkiye.

If you plan to study or work in Türkiye, you must obtain a visa at a Turkish embassy or consulate before arriving in Türkiye.

To qualify for a subsequent visa-exempted entry for a 90-day period in Turkiye, you must leave the country for at least 90 days before being allowed to re-enter for another 90 days.

If you wish to remain in Türkiye for longer than 90 consecutive days, you must obtain a residence permit from the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management in the province in which you reside. If you overstay, you might be fined, deported or banned from future travel to Türkiye for a specific period of time.

Useful links

Entry stamp

Ensure Turkish immigration officials stamp your passport on arrival. Failure to produce a stamped passport is punishable by a fine, detention and deportation, and can lead to significant delays at departure.

Dual citizenship

Dual Turkish-Canadian citizens must present a valid Turkish passport or piece of identification to enter the country.

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

 

Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Tick-borne encephalitis

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a risk in some areas of this destination. It is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). It is spread to humans by the bite of infected ticks or occasionally when unpasteurized milk products are consumed.

Travellers to areas where TBE is found may be at higher risk  during April to November, and the risk is highest for people who hike or camp in forested areas.

Protect yourself from tick bites. The vaccine is not available in Canada. It may be available in the destination you are travelling to.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Hepatitis B

 Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Influenza

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Rabies

In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions, including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Travellers' diarrhea

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is a viral disease that can cause fever, pain and bleeding under the skin.  In some cases, it can be fatal.  It spreads to humans through contact with infected animal blood or tissues, or from the bite of an infected tick.  Risk is generally low for most travellers.  Protect yourself from tick bites and avoid animals, particularly livestock.  There is no vaccine available for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Avian Influenza

Human cases of avian influenza have been reported in this destination. Avian influenza is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds and in rare cases it can infect mammals, including people. The risk is low for most travellers.

Avoid contact with birds, including wild, farm, and backyard birds (alive or dead) and surfaces that may have bird droppings on them. Ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs and wild game, are properly cooked.

Travellers with a higher risk of exposure include those: 

  • visiting live bird/animal markets or poultry farms
  • working with poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, domestic ducks)
  • hunting, de-feathering, field dressing and butchering wild birds and wild mammals
  • working with wild birds for activities such as research, conservation, or rehabilitation
  • working with wild mammals, especially those that eat wild birds (e.g., foxes)

All eligible people are encouraged to get the seasonal influenza shot, which will protect them against human influenza viruses. While the seasonal influenza shot does not prevent infection with avian influenza, it can reduce the chance of getting sick with human and avian influenza viruses at the same time.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •  washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Medical tourism

Medical tourism is common in Türkiye. Canadian travellers have had serious health complications following surgeries abroad. The Turkish government recommends that all travellers seeking medical services select healthcare providers authorized by the Turkish Ministry of Health.

Before leaving for medical travel, you should do your research, especially on:

  • the health and financial risks
  • medical facilities performing the intended procedure
  • language barriers, which can lead to misunderstandings about your medical care and conditions
  • travel insurance that includes coverage for the type of medical procedure you will be undergoing

The Turkish authorities established the HealthTürkiye online portal, which provides information to foreigners about medical tourism in Türkiye.

You should discuss your medical plans with your primary healthcare provider in Canada before travelling. 

  • Make sure that the healthcare providers you choose are authorized by the Turkish health authorities.
  • Ask to see the credentials of the healthcare providers
  • Obtain a written agreement detailing the proposed treatment or procedure.

Useful links

Medical services and facilities

Modern medical care is available in major cities but may not be in remote areas. Immediate cash payment is often required.

Most provincial and territorial health care programs are extremely limited in the coverage offered abroad. 

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Universal health coverage

Foreigners with residency permits must register for universal health coverage under Turkish Social Security (SGK). Although Canadian citizens are exempt, you may enroll if you have no other coverage and you have been a resident in Türkiye for at least one year.

Universal Health Insurance - Türkiye's social Security Institution

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

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Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Identification

Authorities can request to see your ID at any time. If you fail to present valid identification documents upon request, you could face:

  • fines
  • arrest
  • detention
  • deportation
  • entry ban for future travel into Türkiye

During your stay:

  • carry the original version (not only photocopies or digital versions) of a valid government-issued ID, such as your passport, at all times.
  • keep a digital copy of your ID and travel documents in case it is seized or lost
  • follow the instructions of the local authorities requesting the documents

If you are temporarily in Türkiye, you should carry a valid passport that contains a Turkish entry stamp and a valid visa.

If you reside in Türkiye, you should carry your Turkish resident ID (Kimlik and/or Ikamet) and a valid passport that contains a Turkish entry stamp and a valid visa.

Drugs

The use of illegal drugs is prohibited. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences and heavy fines.

Don't agree to carry any baggage that is not yours.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Lèse-majesté

It is illegal to denigrate, desecrate or insult the following:

  • the name or image of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Türkiye
  • the president of the Republic of Türkiye
  • the Turkish flag and the national anthem
  • Turkish currency
  • State organs and institutions and its judicial bodies
  • the police and the military

Religious proselytism

Although religious proselytism is not illegal, some activities may be considered illegal and could lead to detention.

Political discussions

Avoid discussions (including on social media) on historical and religious issues as well as on politics.

  • Keep in mind the sensitivities
  • Think twice before posting or reacting to online content criticizing the government
  • Restrain/limit your social media footprint.

Online activities

Turkish authorities have detained and prosecuted people over social media posts criticizing the government, state officials, president, military operations. You could be subject to scrutiny even if a post was published years ago or outside of Türkiye.

Authorities have also targeted people and groups for:

  • publishing statements
  • organizing news conferences
  • organizing or participating in nonviolent activities
  • critical writing and online activism protesting the government, its policies, decisions and actions

Even if a case does not go to trial or ends in acquittal, people can be labelled as terrorism suspects and face adverse consequences due to investigations and criminal proceedings, including possible loss of employment and social exclusion.

Photography

It is forbidden to photograph military or public installations. Avoid photographing public demonstrations or members of police or security forces. Cameras may be confiscated. Do not photograph people without their permission.

Exports

Turkish antiquities and other cultural artifacts that are considered of historical value or of national importance cannot be exported. Seek advice from Turkish authorities prior to departure from Türkiye. If the item can be exported, you will require a sales receipt and the official museum export certificate issued by the Turkish customs office.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

Turkish law does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. However, homosexuality is not widely socially accepted.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Türkiye.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Türkiye, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and Türkiye.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Türkiye, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the Turkish court.

If you are in this situation:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Türkiye to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children's Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country's judicial affairs.

Useful links

Driving

You should carry an international driving permit.

International Driving Permit

Dress and behaviour

Islamic practices and beliefs are closely adhered to in many parts of the country.

In all places of worship, women should cover their head with a scarf and all visitors should cover their arms and legs.

  • Dress conservatively, especially in areas outside major cities and coastal resorts
  • Behave discreetly
  • Respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities

In 2025, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around February 28.

In public, between sunrise and sunset, be discreet when:

  • drinking
  • eating
  • smoking

Money

The currency of Türkiye is the Turkish lira (TRY).

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Natural disasters and climate

Earthquakes

In February 2023, severe earthquakes struck several provinces in southeastern Türkiye resulting in tens of thousands of casualties and significant damage to critical infrastructure, buildings and private houses. There are reports indicating that most of the affected local populations live in temporary shelters or settlements awaiting reconstruction.

The authorities revoked the state of emergency on May 9, 2023. Recovery work is underway, but the situation remains precarious in the following southern provinces affected by the earthquakes:

  • Kahramanmaraş
  • Malatya
  • Kilis
  • Hatay

If you are in the affected area, you can expect:

  • continued telecommunication and electricity disruptions
  • frequent aftershocks
  • limited food, water and hygiene options
  • limited accommodations
  • extremely limited transportation options from the disaster area

If you are planning to travel near an affected area despite this advisory:

  • monitor local media for the latest developments
  • follow the instructions of local authorities

Avoid non-essential travel to the provinces affected by the earthquakes as our ability to provide consular assistance to Canadians in that area is severely limited. If you need assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Ankara: 90 (312) 409-2700.

Türkiye is located in an active seismic zone. Landslides are possible in affected areas, and strong aftershocks may occur after the initial earthquake.

Earthquakes - What to Do?

Floods

Severe rainstorms occur in various regions around Türkiye, especially in the Black Sea region and coastal areas. Heavy rainfall can cause severe flooding and landslides, resulting in extensive damage to infrastructure and hampering the provision of essential services in the affected areas. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.

Droughts and snowstorms can also delay travel and disrupt essential services.

Wildfires

Forest fires often occur during the summer months, particularly in provinces on the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts of Türkiye.

The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke.

In case of major fire:

  • stay away from the affected areas, especially if you suffer from respiratory ailments
  • follow the instructions of local authorities, including evacuation orders
  • monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

Dial 112 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

Ankara - Embassy of Canada
Street AddressCinnah Caddesi No. 58, Çankaya 06690, Ankara, TürkiyeTelephone90 (312) 409-2700Fax90 (312) 409-2712Emailankra-consular@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-TurkiyeFacebookCanada in TürkiyeTwitterKanada TürkiyeOther social mediaKanada Türkiye
Consular district

Azerbaijan, Georgia. Offering consular services to Canadians in Iran.

Appointment Book your appointment online
Istanbul - Consulate General of Canada
Street AddressBuyukdere Caddesi No: 209, Tekfen Tower, 4.Levent, Istanbul, TürkiyePostal Address34394Telephone90 (212) 385-9700Fax90 (212) 357-1000Emailistbl-consular@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-TurkiyeFacebookCanada in TürkiyeTwitterKanada TürkiyeOther social mediaKanada Türkiye
Consular district

Istanbul

Appointment Book your appointment online

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Türkiye, in Ankara, or the Consulate General of Canada to Türkiye, in Istanbul, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Disclaimer

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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