Foreign Office issues Turkey danger alert after series of attacks

Most of the attacks in Turkey happened during summer holidays in coastal tourist areas according to Foreign Office officials
-Credit: (Image: Getty)


Foreign Office chiefs have sounded the alarm with a stark update on travel advice for Turkey, following harrowing new statistics on sexual offences against tourists. The latest data disclosed this afternoon (June 24) reveals that in 2023, British nationals sought assistance from the embassy numerous times after being sexually assaulted.

The grim tally includes incidents of sexual assault and rape reported to UK consular officials in Turkey. Authorities noted that these crimes typically occurred during the peak summer season and were concentrated in areas popular with holidaymakers.

Victims were often targeted by individuals they had encountered earlier in the day, including employees at hotels and spas. The Foreign Office has also highlighted a disturbing trend of attacks on children in public restrooms, urging parents to remain alert.

The official statement from the Foreign Office reads: "In 2023, 42 cases of sexual assault, including rape, were reported to British consular staff in Turkey. 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."

Additionally, there have been instances where victims' drinks were tampered with. To combat this, the Foreign Office advises travellers to always purchase their own beverages, maintain constant visual contact with their drinks, and exercise caution when approached by strangers offering to exchange currency, or inviting them to eateries or clubs, as these could be ploys involving spiked food or drink.

Purchasing drinks from trustworthy sources is recommended, as officials further advised: "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."

As per the Foreign Office, incidents of crime are 'generally low', yet they warn travellers about instances of snatching and stealing that commonly occur in the packed tourist districts of Istanbul. Holiday-goers are also cautioned to travel via authorised yellow cabs, 'make a note of the registration number before getting in' and, under no circumstances, accept car rides from unfamiliar individuals.