Foreign Office issues Turkey alert over attacks in tourist hotspots

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The Foreign Office has issued a stark warning following the release of new figures detailing sexual assault and rape involving travellers in Turkey. The data, revealed on the afternoon of June 24, shows that in 2023, numerous holidaymakers sought advice from the UK embassy following an attack.

The alarming statistics relate to cases of sexual assault, including rape, reported to British consular staff in Turkey. Officials have clarified that most of these happened during the summer holidays, with tourist hotspots being the primary locations of the attacks.

Victims were often targeted by hotel and spa employees, and disturbingly, the Foreign Office has also reported instances of attacks on children in toilets, urging parents to remain vigilant. In their update, the Foreign Office stated: "In 2023, 42 cases of sexual assault, including rape, were reported to British consular staff in Turkey.

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"Most cases happened during summer holidays in coastal tourist areas. Crimes were committed at night by someone the victim met during the day, including hotel and spa workers. There have also been sexual attacks on minors visiting toilet facilities alone. Be extra vigilant in these situations."

Some victims had their drinks tampered with. As a precaution, the Foreign Office advises holidaymakers to purchase their own drinks, keep them within sight at all times, and be cautious of strangers offering to exchange money, guide you to a restaurant or nightclub, or provide food and drink as these could potentially be spiked, reports the Mirror.

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Purchasing beverages from trustworthy establishments is always the smart move, the authorities have advised. They've gone on record stating: "In a small number of cases, counterfeit branded bottles of alcohol have caused deaths of tourists. If you have any concerns, ask for advice from your tour operator or the Turkish authorities."

Crime rates across Turkey are typically low, as per the Foreign Office's latest travel insights, but street crimes such as muggings and pickpocketing aren't strangers to Istanbul's buzzing tourist hubs. For safe travels within the city, it's recommended to hail one of the official yellow taxis.

A useful tip? Always jot down the registration before hopping in, and certainly never hitch a ride with unknown individuals.