Turkey warning as Foreign Office changes travel advice for UK visitors

Lagoon Beach, Olu Deniz, Turkey
Lagoon Beach, Olu Deniz, Turkey -Credit:Getty Images

The Foreign Office has updated its travel advice for people travelling from the UK to Turkey.

Between January 2023 and September 2023, 3.16 million people from the UK visited Turkey. Before the upcoming summer holidays, changes have been made to the information on support in areas where FCDO advises against travel, visa requirements, customs rules, outdoor activities adventure tourism, and health.

We've broken down some of the updates.

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Visa requirements

If you are visiting Turkey, your passport must:

  • be valid for at least 150 days from the date you arrive

  • have a full blank page for entry and exit stamps

If you are a resident of Turkey, your passport must be valid for six months from the date you arrive.

If entering Turkey through a land border, make sure your passport has a dated entry stamp before you leave the border crossing.

You can visit Turkey without a visa for up to 90 days in any 180-day period, for business or tourism. If you want to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days, you must get a short-term residence permit before the end of your stay.

If you hold a different type of British nationality, such as British National (Overseas), check visa requirements with the Turkish Embassy or Consulate General before you travel.

Customs rules

There are strict rules about goods you can take into or out of Turkey.

Some goods are prohibited – you cannot take them into or out of Turkey. These include:

  • controlled drugs

  • firearms

  • offensive weapons, for example, flick knives and self-defence sprays

  • endangered animal and plant spices

  • indecent and obscene material

Some items are restricted, with precise limits on the volume of goods you can take into Turkey. These include:

  • goods subject to excise duty such as tobacco, cigarettes, and alcohol (including wines and spirits)

  • cosmetics

  • high-value electricals

  • some foodstuffs, including tea, coffee, meat, and dairy products

You must declare anything that may be prohibited, or you believe may be subject to any tax or duty.

Outdoor activities and adventure tourism

If you do an extreme sport, check that adequate safety precautions are in place. British nationals have been injured and killed doing extreme sports. Only use reputable operators.

Make sure you are given full instructions and training before your activity. Make sure your travel insurance covers you for all activities you do.

Jeep safaris can be dangerous, there were a number of reported accidents in 2023. If you join a Jeep Safari, make sure you use a reputable company who have adequate health and safety procedures and equipment. Always check that such activities are covered by your insurance.

Quad biking is an extreme sport and carries the risk of serious injury or death. You need specific travel insurance to cover quad biking. Always read the details of your insurance cover, especially the small print and exclusions on your policy.

Make sure you are given full instructions and training before your activity.

Insurance sold by the hire company usually only provides third-party insurance. It’s likely you will be charged for any damage to the rental vehicle and you may face arrest if you do not pay.

Book activities at a licensed water sports centre and before you start:

  • make sure the paperwork is completed

  • ask for a safety demonstration

  • make sure you know how to call for help

Obey any warning signs and flags on beaches. Follow instructions from lifeguards and observe the flag indicators on beaches.

Follow local advice if jellyfish or urchins are present.


At least eight weeks before your trip:

  • check the latest vaccine recommendations for Turkey

  • see where to get vaccines and whether you have to pay on the NHS travel vaccinations page

See what health risks you’ll face in Turkey, including:

  • biting insects and ticks

  • malaria

The UK Health Security Agency has detected an increase in gastrointestinal infections in travellers returning from Turkey, with over 200 cases of Salmonella detected since the beginning of 2023.

Support in areas where FCDO advises against travel

FCDO advises against all travel to within 10km of the border with Syria due to fighting and a heightened risk of terrorism. They also advise against all but essential travel to Sirnak city and Hakkari Province.

Your travel insurance could be invalidated if you travel against FCDO advice. The embassy staff cannot travel to areas where FCDO advises against travel to help you in person. Staff can offer support by phone and email.

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