Is it Safe to Travel to Turkey in 2022?

Is it safe to travel to Turkey? We get this question a lot. The answer is loaded and fluctuates on a spectrum. We’ll look at what the safety risks are in Turkey, what the cultural expectations are, as well where your common sense kicks in to do the right thing. Hence, we’ll give you the full details on all you need to know to be safe on your trip.

Table of Contents

safe travel turkey

Overview: Safe Travel to Turkey

As a foreigner living in Turkey, my first reaction to this question is yes, I feel safe in Turkey. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have come here as a single woman years ago or brought my young children here to experience all Turkey has to offer. But there is some nuance to being and feeling safe. You need to follow the proper precautions for traveling and living in a foreign country. Also, monitoring the news and being aware of your surroundings. Know the cultural norms and what to wear that you need to follow to FEEL safe. I hope that this article will give you a well-rounded view of safe travel in Turkey so you can enjoy your time here. Arrive with your heart wide open to experience all that Turkey has to offer.

Assessment: Turkey Travel Safety Risk

Do we have a safety risk for travel in Turkey? There is risk in everything we do. Whether we’re riding in a car, flying in an airplane, or going swimming in the sea. We weigh our risks and make decisions to do the best we can to stay safe. The same goes with travel to Turkey, or anywhere for that matter. We weigh our risks, our comfort level traveling to a developing country, our level of travel expertise to do the best we can to stay as safe as possible. Check-in with your local Department of State for Turkey travel advisories before your trip.

Travel Risk Factors in Turkey:

Overall Risk

Turkey is safe to visit if you avoid certain parts of it. Stay clear of the Syrian border and unrest in the Southeast.

Transportation

There are some issues with taxis not turning on their meters and trying to charge higher prices. This is most common going to and from the airports.

Pickpockets

This is common in larger tourist destinations. Be sure to hold your personal belongings close. I like to use one of these slash-proof travel bags on days I'm traveling in the city.

Natural Disaster

Earthquakes are known to occur in Turkey as well as fires in the summer due to drought conditions.

Muggings

Muggings and assaults are reported to happen along the Syrian border. Typically, terrorist groups target journalists and humanitarian workers.

Terrorism

Terrorism is one of the biggest concerns I hear among tourists. The reason I get asked about safety in Turkey. Most attacks are linked to the groups in southeast Turkey.

Scams

Common scams in tourist cities in Turkey are locals making friends with a tourist and taking them out to a local restaurant, then expecting the tourist to pay the inflated bill. You'll also see scams with carpet shops and taxis. Be aware and follow your gut instinct.

Kids & Families

Turks love children – doting on them and making sure their needs are a priority. Make sure your kids have an assigned travel buddy throughout your trip and they'll have a great time.

Solo Women

If you are a woman traveling alone, avoid walking alone at night or accepting drinks from strangers. Sexual assault and verbal harassment are the most reported issues.

safest places in turkey

Safest Places in Turkey

Tourism in Turkey is a huge industry and its visitor’s safety are taken seriously. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute in 2021, the tourism industry brought in over $24 billion and over 29 million visitors to enjoy travel, entertainment, sports, and cultural activities. Turkey wants its visitors to stay safe while they visit. You can expect the most traveled tourist locations in Turkey will have a heavier police presence and undercover officers as well. Following are the top travel destinations as well as the safest in Turkey to consider during your trip planning:

Next, we’ll look at our favorite safety tips for your trip.

turkey travel safety tips

Safety Tips for Traveling in Turkey

Holidays in Turkey

  • New Year’s Day
  • National Children’s Day
  • Labor Day (May Day)
  • Ramadan
  • Seker Bayram
  • Youth & Sports Day
  • Kurban Bayram
  • Democracy & National Unity Day
  • Victory Day
  • Republic Day of Turkey

Cultural Norms

Be Aware of Scams

Tours and Adventure Activities

Is it Safe to Travel Solo to Turkey?

Yes, you can be safe traveling solo in Turkey. Taking the right precautions and being aware of your surroundings are some of our top tips. Below are common sense travel tips for staying safe while traveling alone:

family safety in turkey

Safety Tips for Families in Turkey

Turks love children! Kids in Turkey will be well taken care of – being doted on with any of their smallest requests. Expect your kids’ comfort level and needs to be a top priority by the locals. Turks are affectionate and may try to give a hug, kiss on the cheek, or a light pinch on the cheek to the younger kids. All in all, the kids will have a great time and be safe while they travel to Turkey. Get our best tips for traveling in Turkey with kids

Traveling with Babies

Traveling with Kids & Teens

Health Safety in Turkey During COVID-19

As of 2022, there are COVID-19 cases reported in Turkey. The Turkish government has started the Safe Tourism Certification program to certify that accommodations, restaurants, and transportation are meeting certain measures for hygiene.

Each person you are traveling with will need to apply for a HES code before arriving in Turkey. Keep the HES codes on your phone as you will need to show your code when you enter large public places such as malls or public transportation.

Follow the local safety regulations posted by the Turkish Ministry of Health for COVID-19.

In summary, it is safe to travel to Turkey if you use common sense and learn the cultural expectations in Turkey. Be aware of your surroundings and the common travel risks seen in Turkey. Always check with your local state department for travel advisories to assess the areas you will be traveling in. While you may approach travel to Turkey with caution, this will allow you to have a great experience and FEEL safe at the same time.

Join the Conversation

4 Comments

  1. Dania, I love your blog setup! It’s gorgeous and so user-friendly with the Table of Contents. Nice work! I enjoy reading the posts and fantasizing about my (future) trip to Turkey.

  2. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

    1. Thank you! Let me know if you have any questions about Safety in Turkey. 🙂

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Family Travel to Turkey: Enes and Dania

Hi, we're Dania & Enes

We’re an American Turkish couple who’ve worked in the tourism industry and traveled extensively in Turkey. We understand that it can be overwhelming to plan a trip to Turkey when you don’t know where to go, where to stay and the best way to get there. We’re dedicated to helping you confidently plan a trip to Turkey and have a more authentic experience when you get there.

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Play Turkey Travel BINGO!

We’ve created FOUR Turkey specific bingo games to make your trip even MORE FUN.
Included are some insider tips on what to see and eat in Istanbul!

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Play Turkey Travel BINGO!

We’ve created FOUR Turkey specific bingo games to make your trip even MORE FUN.
Included are some insider tips on what to see and eat in Istanbul!