What Travelers Need to Know About Turkey


Passengers at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul on Saturday, after the coup attempt.

Tolga Bozoglu/European Pressphoto Agency

An attempted coup in Turkey has left 265 dead, 1,440 wounded and chaos in its wake. Here’s what travelers need to know about how to stay safe there, including updates on flights.

What should travelers in Turkey do right now?

The State Department has issued a statement telling U.S. citizens to “shelter in place” and not go to the U.S. Consulate. It has also been frequently posting updates on its Twitter account, occasionally responding to specific questions about the crisis.

It also provided an after-hours telephone number of the embassy in Ankara: 90-312-455-5555 or +90-212-335-9000 as well as telephone numbers of its consulate and consular agencies in other cities.

Britain’s Foreign Office is also urging its citizens to remain indoors and to be vigilant, and has updated its site with advisories specific to travel within Turkey, and the French foreign ministry has updated its site with advisories and with its crisis line.

Are airports open?

Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, Europe’s third busiest airport, closed shortly after the coup on Friday, and reopened Saturday morning. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke from there shortly after returning the country and was shown on television there greeting supporters. But everyday travelers should not expect to fly in or out right now.

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara issued a statement Saturday noting that the F.A.A. had prohibited American carriers from flying to or from destinations in Turkey and added that international carriers had been prohibited as well. Moreover, security at the airport is significantly diminished, with reports of sporadic gunfire.

Delta, which stopped service to the airport last month because of security concerns, is offering a travel waiver through its Joint Venture partners to help those affected change their travel plans.

British Airways has canceled all flights to and from Turkey scheduled for Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17 and is offering travelers, who are scheduled to fly either to or from the country on Sunday and Monday, July 18, the chance to rebook their flights, subject to availability.


Travelers Cancel Trips to Turkey

After an attempted military coup in Turkey, some travelers at Kennedy International Airport in New York decided not to depart.

By REUTERS on Publish Date July 16, 2016.


Watch in Times Video »

Are hotels letting guests stay?

Yes, for the most part. In Istanbul, many hotels are open and functioning, according to Pinar Timer, the general manager of the Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah, an upscale 115-room property in the city. “We had 75 guests last night but most were Europeans, not Americans, and obviously they are concerned, but we have plenty of security and are doing our best to keep them safe and apprised of what’s going on,” she said.

Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, a luxury hotel set on the Bosporus, is also open.

Four Seasons has two hotels in Istanbul, and both are open, said Leonardo Baiocchi, the general manager for both properties. “ We had guests last night but are receiving early departures today,” he said. The hotel was on lockdown during the attempted coup, according to Kat Cohen, who phoned in to CNN during its coverage of the events.

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