International travel and COVID-19
- be sure to get vaccinated, and complete any additional recommended doses, at least 14 days before your departure
- review the travel health notice for COVID-19 and International Travel
If you have not completed a COVID-19 vaccine series, you should continue to avoid non-essential travel to all destinations.
Türkiye travel advice
Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)
Last updated: ET
On this page
- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
- Need help?
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.
Border region with Syria - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to within 10 km of the border with Syria, due to a deteriorating security situation.
Southeastern provinces - Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel to the following southeastern provinces due to an unpredictable security situation:
Safety and security
COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions
COVID-19 preventative measures and restrictions are still in effect in some destinations.
These could include:
- curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
- mandatory mask use
- required proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public and private services and spaces
Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are still in effect.
Border with Syria
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. Expect a heightened military presence and movement restrictions in these areas.
The security situation remains unpredictable.
- Exercise extreme caution
- Review your security measures regularly
- Monitor these events very closely
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.
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.
On July 15 and 16, 2016, an attempted coup took place in Türkiye. Random ID checks and roadblocks may still 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
There is a 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.
Attacks have targeted:
- Turkish military and government facilities
- tourist attractions and popular public places
- nightclubs and entertainment venues
- public transportation
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
- places of worship
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
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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; or
- 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.
More about General Directorate of Highways
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
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.
Entry and exit requirements
COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements
Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19. These measures can be imposed suddenly and may include:
- entry or exit bans
- mandatory proof of vaccination or COVID-19 testing
- suspensions or reductions of international transportation options
Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.
- verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation
- consider even your transit points, as there are transit rules in place in many destinations
- monitor the media for the latest information
- reconfirm the requirements with your airline or tour operator
The situation could disrupt your travel plans. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.
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.
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.
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.
Work visa: required
Tourism visa: required
Business visa: required
Student visa: required
If you are travelling to Türkiye for tourism or trade, use the official Turkish government site to apply online and purchase an e-visa prior to entering the country. Be cautious of third-party websites that offer help in getting an e-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.
Canadians can also obtain a visa upon arrival in some international airports. 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 renew a 90-day visa, you must leave the country for at least 90 days before being allowed to re-enter. 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. When your e-visa expires, you are not allowed to apply for a new e-visa without departing from Türkiye. If you overstay your visa, you might be fined, deported or banned from future travel to Türkiye for a specific period of time.
- Official e-visa application system – Republic of Türkiye
- Information on the residency permit applications – Republic of Türkiye
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 Turkish-Canadian citizens must present a valid Turkish passport or piece of identification to enter the country.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines 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 are right for you.
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.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- 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.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Tick-borne encephalitis is present in some areas of this country.
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 when you consume unpasteurized milk products.
Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to ticks during outdoor activities.
A vaccine against TBE does exist but is only available in countries where the disease is present.
Learn more on what you can do to prevent tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)?
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
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 is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
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.
For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Western Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
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 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.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Western Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, Rift Valley fever, and West Nile virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
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.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Western Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
There have been human cases of avian influenza in this country.
Avian influenza is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds. In rare cases, it can infect people.
- avoid high risk areas such as poultry farms and live animal markets
- avoid areas where poultry may be slaughtered
- avoid contact with birds (alive or dead)
- avoid surfaces that may have bird droppings or secretions on them
- ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs, are well cooked
Medical services and facilities
COVID-19 - Testing facilities
Consult the following links to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test:
- Local COVID-19 testing facilities - General Directorate of Public Health, Government of Türkiye (in Turkish only)
Modern medical care is available in major cities but may not be in remote areas. Immediate cash payment is often required.
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 - Republic of Türkiye social Security Institution
Medical tourism is common in Türkiye. Canadian travellers have had serious health complications following cosmetic or other elective surgeries abroad.
Before leaving for medical travel:
- make sure you have done your research
- use healthcare providers authorized by the Turkish health authorities only
- Receiving medical care outside Canada
- Authorized healthcare providers - Turkish Health Ministry (in Turkish)
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
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.
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.
Authorities may request to see your ID at any time.
- Carry valid identification or a photocopy of it at all times
- Keep a photocopy of your passport in case it’s lost or seized
- Keep a digital copy of your ID and travel documents
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
Illegal or restricted activities
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.
Do not agree to carry any baggage that is not yours.
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
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.
Exportation of antiquities and cultural artifacts
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.
Although religious proselytism is not illegal, some activities may be considered illegal and could lead to detention.
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.
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.
Turkish law does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. However, homosexuality is not widely socially accepted.
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.
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.
- List of Canadian Central Authorities for the Hague Convention
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- The Hague Convention - Hague Conference on Private International Law
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
You should carry an international driving permit.
Blood alcohol content limit in Türkiye is 0.5 grams of alcohol per litre of blood. Blood alcohol levels at or above this level are fined and individual’s license will be confiscated for 6 months. Police can carry out random alcohol tests at any time. In the event of an accident, all drivers involved are breathalysed.
Using cell phones while driving is illegal and can lead to a fine.
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 2023, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around March 22.
In public, between sunrise and sunset, be discreet when :
The currency of Türkiye is the Turkish lira (TRY).
Natural disasters and climate
Türkiye is located in an active seismic zone. Landslides are possible in affected areas, and strong aftershocks may occur after the initial earthquake.
Wildfires may occur, particularly during summer.
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 or if you have a pre-existing medical condition
- monitor local media for the latest information
- follow the instructions of local authorities, including evacuation orders
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.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, our consular services could be limited. Contact us by email or telephone before visiting our offices.
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Istanbul - Consulate General of Canada
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For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Türkiye, in Ankara, or the Consulate of Canada in Istanbul, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
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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