Flights Resume Between Turkey and the United States — But…

Turkey

The prohibition of flights between Turkey and the United States has been lifted by the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States when its notice to airmen was rescinded on Monday, July 18, 2016, which means that airlines have once again been allowed to resume flights between the two countries as of yesterday, Tuesday, June 19, 2016 — only four days after airline carriers based in the United States were prohibited from flying to or from airports in Istanbul and Ankara.

Additionally, all airline carriers — regardless of country of registry — were prohibited from flying into the United States from Turkey either directly or via a third country. This prohibition has been rescinded as well.

The justification of the advisory issued by the Federal Aviation Administration was supposedly to be re-evaluated by Monday, August 15, 2016 — although expectations were that the re-evaluation was to occur sooner than that.

Flights Resume Between Turkey and the United States — But…

The bad news is that — as of Monday, July 18, 2016 — a new warning was issued to American citizens from the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the Department of State of the United States of “increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey and to avoid travel to southeastern Turkey” as a result of the surprise attempted coup conducted by a faction of the military in Turkey on Friday, July 15, 2016. The coup was ultimately unsuccessful — but the potential for interruptions to travel and daily life remains.

The failed coup prompted concerns by officials of the United States government pertaining to the compromising of security standards at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, which resulted in the aforementioned notice to airmen issued from the Federal Aviation Administration. The concerns have since been satisfied as a result of an audit and review of the security arrangements conducted by officials of the United States government at the main airports in Turkey.

Tourists from the United States and other countries have been explicitly targeted by international and indigenous terrorist organizations. Throughout Europe, extremists have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, aviation services, transportation systems, and public venues where people congregate as well as religious sites and high-profile events. American citizens are reminded to review personal security plans and remain vigilant at all times.

For Your Safety

  • Avoid travel to southeastern Turkey — particularly near the border Turkey shares with Syria.
  • Stay away from large crowds — including at popular tourist destinations.
  • Exercise heightened vigilance and caution when visiting public access areas — especially those heavily frequented by tourists.
  • Stay away from political gatherings and rallies.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities in an emergency.
  • Stay at hotel properties with identifiable security measures in place.
  • Monitor local media.

Further Detailed Information Pertaining to Turkey and Travel

For further detailed information regarding Turkey and travel:

  • See the State Department’s travel Internet web site for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Turkey’s Country Specific Information
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency
  • Contact the United States Embassy in Ankara, located at 110 Ataturk Boulevard, Kavaklidere, 06100 Ankara, at +90-312-455-5555, 8:30 in the morning through 5:30 in the evening Monday through Friday; and the emergency number for American citizens after hours is +90-312-455-5555 or +90-212-335-9000, which is the telephone number of the United States Consulate General in Istanbul
  • Contact the United States Consulate General in Istanbul, located at 2 Uçsehitler Sokagi, 34460, Istinye, Sariyer, at +90-212-335-9000
  • Contact the United States Consulate in Adana, located at 212 Girne Bulvari, Guzelevler Mahallesi, Yuregir, Adana at +90-322-455-4100
  • Contact the Consular Agency in Izmir at Izmir@state.gov
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 in the morning through 8:00 in the evening Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday — except during federal holidays of the United States
  • Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the Department of State of the United States via Twitter and Facebook

The Role of the United States in the Failed Coup?

Mevlut Cavusoglu — who is the foreign minister of Turkey — provided an update on events in that country to the Department of State of the United States; and “made clear the Turkish government remains in control of state institutions.”

John Kerry — who is the secretary of state of the United States — “urged restraint by the Turkish government and respect for due process — and its international obligations — as it investigates and uncovers additional information about those involved. He made clear that the United States would be willing to provide assistance to Turkish authorities conducting this investigation, but that public insinuations or claims about any role by the United States in the failed coup attempt are utterly false and harmful to our bilateral relations.”

Summary

Although it is not an actual prohibition, the Department of State suggests that American citizens reconsider travel to Turkey at this time — but the United States is not exactly the safest country in the world at the moment, considering the violence which has occurred in many cities in recent months.

No place in the world can offer 100 percent safety. If you do decide to travel to Turkey — airfares and lodging are priced attractively for Americans at this time — exercise the same cautions and awareness which you would or should apply whenever you travel elsewhere; and follow the aforementioned list of recommendations to follow for your safety.

Imagery ©2016 TerraMetrics. Map data ©2016 courtesy of Google Maps.

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