The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
Turkey is a developing nation but is in the upper half of the world's economies. Located along the Mediterranean Sea in southwestern Asia, its climate is temperate. Summers are hot and dry and winters are mild and wet. Its climate is harsher in the interior.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, rabies, tick-borne encephalitis, or typhoid fever. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)(2017) Local malaria transmission has been interrupted. There is no malaria risk in the country. No locally acquired caseswere reported in 2015.
- Recommended prevention in risk areas: none
WHO Country List footnote: When available, the date of the most recent update or confirmation is indicated in parentheses in the country list. If no date is indicated, the most recent update or confirmation was provided before 2013.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: None.
Drug resistance: Not applicable.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
Moderate risk exists throughout the country, with minimal risk in deluxe accommodations. Food and beverage precautions may reduce the likelihood of illness.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Other Food-Borne Illnesses
Precautions to prevent brucellosis may be needed.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
The material below includes information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Consular Travel Advice
Due to terrorism and ongoing security concerns, U.S. (DOS) advises avoiding travel to southeastern areas of the country and advises reconsidering travel (or avoiding nonessential travel) to the rest of the country. U.K. (FCO), Canada (GAC), and Australia (DFAT) have more limited warnings; Australia (DFAT) advises reconsidering travel (or avoiding nonessential travel) to Istanbul and Ankara.
High risk of attack by domestic and/or transnational terrorist groups exists throughout the country, especially in southeast areas, Istanbul, and Ankara. Extreme vigilance is recommended in tourist areas, including Istanbul, Ankara, Adana, Izmir, Antalya, and nearby coastal areas. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; and transportation systems.
High risk of kidnapping by terrorist groups exists throughout the country, especially in southeastern areas including areas bordering Syria and Iraq. Targets may include foreigners (especially Westerners), journalists, and aid workers.
Risk of violent crime (armed robbery and sexual assault) exists throughout the country, especially in areas frequented by tourists in Istanbul (particularly in Taksim Square, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, and Sultanahmet Square) and in coastal resort areas such as Antalya.
Risk of petty crime exists in Istanbul and other cities, especially in areas frequented by tourists. Low risk exists throughout the rest of the country.
Scams involving requests to export parcels that contain hidden narcotics, substitution of inferior goods (such as carpets) after purchase, and charging exorbitant fees for services at bars have been reported.
Risk exists of robberies and/or assaults occurring after consuming intentionally drugged food or drink; tourists are frequently targeted.
Protests and demonstrations occur throughout the country, especially in Istanbul, Ankara, and other cities (particularly on days of national significance), and have the potential to turn violent without warning. Bystanders are at risk of harm from violence or from the response by authorities. Disruption to transportation, free movement, or the ability to carry out daily activities may occur.
There is a significant military presence in southeastern Turkey and along the border with Iraq. Military air and ground strikes occur frequently against identified targets in the Turkish/Iraqi border area. Six temporary security zones were established in the provinces of Hakkari, Siirt, and Sirnak to prevent insurgent infiltration. Movement in these areas is strictly limited by the Turkish Armed Forces.
Avoid crossing the border with Iraq; the Turkish government tightly controls entries and exits between the 2 countries.
Mount Ararat, located in the eastern Agri Province, is a special military zone, and mountain climbing is permitted only with prior permission from authorities and the accompaniment of a professional guide.
Rent water sports equipment from reputable operators. Scuba dive only with personnel certified by PADI or NAUI, and use equipment only from PADI- or NAUI-certified dive operators.
Other Safety Threats
Travelers have been injured and in some cases killed participating in extreme sports, including paragliding, parasailing, hot air ballooning, white-water rafting, and off-road driving.
Risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road-traffic death rate is 7 to 12 per 100,000 population. The rate is < 10 in most high-income countries. Speed laws are poorly enforced.
Traffic flows on the right-hand side of the road. Travelers (including drivers and pedestrians) accustomed to traffic moving on the opposite side should be vigilant when navigating traffic.
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has determined that the civil aviation authority of this country oversees its air carriers in accordance with minimum international safety standards.
Forest fires occur during the dry season from June through September.
Seismic activity frequently occurs, especially in northern areas.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Turkey
- United States: [+90] 312-455-5555; tr.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+90] 312-409-2700; www.turkey.gc.ca
- United Kingdom: [+90] 312-455-3344; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-ankara
- Australia: [+90] 312-459-9500; www.turkey.embassy.gov.au
Turkey's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.washington.emb.mfa.gov.tr
- In Canada: ottava.be.mfa.gov.tr
- In the U.K.: london.emb.mfa.gov.tr
- In Australia: kanberra.be.mfa.gov.tr
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.