Turkey goes to the polls on Sunday in a snap election that could have far reaching ramifications. The election had been scheduled for next year, but was brought forward by President Erdoğan who was confident he would win the vote.

Four people were killed and several more injured in clashes at a campaign rally in Suruc, Şanlıurfa Province, earlier this month. At the start of June, the FCO issued an updated travel advisory related to the election that prompted the UK press to ask whether travellers should cancel their planned trips.

President Erdoğan has overseen a dramatic clampdown on the press and members of the opposition following a failed coup attempt in 2016. A state of emergency has remained in place since the coup attempt. He consolidated his power in a referendum last year, and has been accused of undermining the judiciary.

Recent rallies and press coverage suggests the election results could be much closer than President Erdoğan anticipated. A troubled economy, ongoing political unrest amid the Kurdish population, terror threats resulting from involvement in the fight against Daesh, and resentment of the President’s authoritarian approach to governing form a potentially volatile backdrop. If you or your clients are in Turkey, you should keep a close eye on the poll results – a closer or contested outcome could lead to widespread protests and a violent crackdown.

Travel advice

  • Identify reliable news sources that will provide up to date information. The US Embassy in Ankara will share updates if the situation becomes volatile. It is also worth following the FCO on Twitter and checking in regularly.
  • Make sure you have the contact information for your consular services saved on your phone and in a secure offline place as well.
  • Make sure you have your flight information and contact details for your airline, as well as the number for a taxi service to the airport.
  • Avoid crowds and demonstrations.
  • Monitor the local media.
  • If something does happen, make sure you check in with friends and family.

The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office recommends you ‘avoid large gatherings and follow the advice of the local authorities.’

You may find some of the advice from our 2016 piece ‘Expert Advice: Is it safe to go to Turkey?‘ useful.

News and headlines

Official travel advice

Links to travel advice on visiting Turkey from the following governments –

Click through here to read our coverage of recent events and developments in Turkey.

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