Harvard University


Risk Ratings  

    LOW MEDICAL RISK for Turkey
    HIGH TRAVEL RISK for Hakkari, Sirnak, Diyarbakir provinces; Areas within ten miles (16km) of the Syrian border

COVID-19 Impact

COVID-19 virus imageCOVID-19 Impact Rating (Travel): Low -

Inbound travel is broadly possible with some inconvenience; restrictions affect a limited range of travellers.

Restrictions in place for a limited range of originating countries / nationalities arriving in country.  Mandatory testing and quarantine in designated facilities may apply.

COVID-19 virus imageCOVID-19 Impact Rating (Domestic Operations): Low -

COVID-related precautions and restrictions causing some inconvenience to business operations. Most businesses are operating.

Both essential and non-essential businesses are operating, though outbreaks may impact medical and/or logistic factors  and cause disruption, often at short notice. Pre-existing security risks likely to be exacerbated by COVID-19-related political and socio-economic concerns in the near/medium term, though these disruptions will not affect the stability of the overall security environment. Elective surgery may not be accessible at times and VERY HIGH and HIGH Medical Risk Rated countries will be under pressure. Basic elements of BCPs – such as reduced or staggered staffing, social distancing, limited face to face interaction – may be active, with clear escalation and de-escalation triggers as well as mitigation measures.

RestrictionsInboundBorder restrictions
• Border closures/restrictions
- The border with Iran remains closed except for freight transport. The border with Syria remains closed.
- According to Turkish Airlines, flight restrictions for Brazil and South Africa are removed.
(Until further notice)
Border restrictions
• Border closures/restrictions

(Until further notice)
Entry rules
- Passengers coming from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka or those who have been to these countries in the last 14 days will need to quarantine for 14 days at a place selected by the authorities. Passengers must take a second PCR test on day 14 of quarantine, and if the result is negative the isolation period will end. Passengers aged six and above who have visited the aforementioned countries are required to submit a negative PCR test result with a sample collected within the last 72 hours prior to departure.
(Until further notice)
Testing requirements

• Who needs to test + Type of test and timeframe?
- All travellers must present a negative PCR test result (in English) obtained within 72 hours of arrival or a negative rapid antigen test result within 48 hours of arrival.
- Travellers arriving from Egypt, Singapore, and the UK must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test regardless of their vaccination status. Travellers form these countries are not allowed to submit results for a rapid antigen test.

- All arriving passengers are subject to thermal health screening. Some passengers may be required to undergo a second PCR test on arrival, but they will not need to self-isolate until the test result is received. Travellers who test positive will be required to isolate in their accomodation for 14 days and will undergo an additional PCR test on day 10. If the result is negative, passengers will be allowed to end their self-isolation. Those who have tested positive for the Indian variant of the COVID-19 virus will undergo a PCR test on day 14 of quarantine.

• Exemptions
- Children under six are exempt.
- Vaccinated passengers are exempt from pre-travel test provided they can submit an official government document proving that they completed their vaccination at least 14 days prior to arriving in Turkey. This does not apply to travellers from Egypt, Singapore and the UK.
- Passengers who have recovered from COVID-19 within six months of their arrival are also exempt from providing e negative PCR test, but they will also be required to present an official government certificate confirming this information.
(Until further notice)

Documentation required
Travellers must complete a passenger locator form at least 72 hours prior to departure. The form can be accessed at https://register.health.gov.tr/. This does not apply to transiting passengers.
(Until further notice)
- Travellers transiting through Turkey are not required to present a negative PCR test result
-Travellers wishing to transit to a domestic flight will be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival before boarding on the onwards flight.
- The maximum transit time is 12 hours.
(until further notice)
A list of accredited COVID-19 testing laboratories and hospitals in Turkey can be found at: https://hsgm.saglik.gov.tr/tr/haberler/yetkilendirilmis-covi-d-19-tani-laboratuvarlari.html
(until further notice)
• Are there any border restrictions? Yes
• Are there any entry restrictions? Yes
• Are there any testing requirements? Yes
• Are there any quarantine requirements? Possibly
• Are there any vaccine requirements? No
• Are there any separate transit restrictions? Yes
• Is COVID-19-related documentation required? Yes
• Are there separate restrictions for overseas territories? No
• Are there any other restrictions? Yes
(Until further notice)
OutboundBorder restrictions
- Land border crossings with Iran and Syria are closed except for freight transport.
- All passenger, cargo and charter flights to Iran are suspended.
- Flights excluding cargo flights from Turkey to the United Kingdom are suspended temporarily until further notice.
(Until further notice)
• Are there any border restrictions? Yes
• Are there any exit restrictions? No
• Are there any testing requirements? No
• Are there any quarantine requirements? No
• Are there any vaccine requirements? No
• Are there any separate transit restrictions? No
• Is COVID-19-related documentation required? No
• Are there separate restrictions for overseas territories? No
• Are there any other restrictions? No
(Until further notice)
Internal / DomesticCurfews and lockdowns
- An overnight curfew (22.00-05.00) will be in place on weekdays and saturday.
-A full lockdown is in place on Sundays.
- Inter-city travel permitted outside of curfew hours.
(Ends 30 June 2021)

Restrictions on internal travel
• What restrictions are in place
- Citizens and residents travelling domestically are required to obtain a Hayat Eve Sigar (HES) code prior to departure. The HES code will be also required for accomodation check-ins. Those who do not have this code will be denied boarding. This does not apply to transiting passengers.
- As of 15 March, all individuals in Istanbul will be required to present an HES code when entering all public institutions and commercial establishments. Travellers will be issued an HES code upon completion of the traveller locator form.
- Intercity travel permits are required for everyone who needs to travel by car for emergencies during the curfew from 21.00 to 05.00 on weekdays and during the weekend from 9 p.m. Fridays to 5 a.m. Mondays.
(Until further notice)
• Is a state of emergency in place? No
• Are curfews/lockdowns in place? Yes
• Can businesses operate? Yes
• Are there other restrictions on internal travel? Yes
• Are there any testing requirements? No
• Are there any vaccination requirements? No
• Are there any other restrictions in place? No
(Until further notice)
Planned changes and internal conditionsTurkey will ease internal restrictions (including lifting of lockdowns and curfews previously imposed) starting from 1 July. Moreover, public transportation restrictions will also be lifted. Public institutions will return to normal working hours.

22 Jun 2021 (Updated Daily)

Risk Summary


Please see our:

Medical and Security Alerts for Turkey

COVID-19 information for Turkey

Dedicated COVID-19 website


While the travel risks associated with Turkey are rated as MEDIUM overall, the risk environment varies across the country. Travellers are advised to seek itinerary and profile-specific advice for their accommodation and transportation options countrywide. In the main cities, petty crime – including pickpocketing, bag-snatching, overcharging and a variety of scams – are the main security risks for foreign visitors. However, co-ordinated terrorist attacks also pose potential direct and indirect threats to foreign travellers. Violent crime involving foreign travellers is unusual. Socio-political activism can lead to outbreaks of unrest in the major cities. Road traffic accidents caused by poor driving standards pose a safety risk for foreign business travellers.

On 15 July 2016, elements of the military attempted to topple the government by force. While the coup attempt involved military seizures of strategic buildings and infrastructure, armed clashes and a large number of consequent casualties, it failed within a matter of hours and the civilian government had by the morning of 16 July 2016 largely stabilised the situation and restored order.

Following the failed coup, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on 20 July 2016 announced that the country would be placed under a three-month state of emergency, which was extended seven times before coming to an end on 19 July 2018. The emergency declaration allowed the president to rule largely by decree and aided the government in arresting hundreds of suspected coup participants and sympathisers. The government has since introduced a new ‘anti-terror' legislation that provides greater power for the local authorities and the security forces to counter the threat of militancy and prohibit public demonstrations.

Tensions between Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the opposition remain a primary feature of Turkey's political environment. In a referendum on 16 April 2017, voters narrowly passed a set of constitutional amendments to change the country's system of government from parliamentary to presidential. The changes took effect during the June 2018 general elections, which Erdogan won.

In relation to the threat of terrorism in Turkey, domestic and transnational militant groups have demonstrated their intent and capability to stage attacks, particularly in the capital Ankara and Istanbul. Despite a reduction in attacks since January 2017, there is a persistent risk of large-scale attacks by Islamist militant groups intending to cause mass casualties. However, the domestic security and intelligence infrastructure is robust and capable of disrupting many such plots.

The extremist Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for a co-ordinated attack on 28 June 2016 at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport (ISL), in which three assailants armed with automatic weapons and suicide vests entered the international terminal and killed 45 people and injured 239 others. A gunman on 1 January 2017 killed 39 people and injured 69 others at Reina nightclub in Istanbul, in an attack that was later claimed by IS. Such incidents demonstrate the enduring militant threat throughout Turkey, particularly in major urban centres.

The vicinity of the Syrian border is subject to persistent security risks due to spillover incidents linked to the civil conflict in Syria. In addition, a long-running insurgency by Kurdish groups, primarily the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), most directly affects numerous eastern and south-eastern provinces. A ceasefire between the government and the PKK collapsed in July 2015, and renegotiation of a truce is unlikely to occur soon.

Military and government-linked industrial sites are the primary Kurdish insurgent targets; violence has been most acute in Diyarbakir, Hakkari and Sirnak provinces, where the travel risks are rated as HIGH. However, the risks posed to foreign nationals by such activity are primarily incidental. Associated demonstrations can also lead to violence in urban centres.

This information is intended as a summary of the travel security environment; however, the risks can change at short notice during a crisis or evolving situation. Please check our travel security alerts to ensure you are informed of the most recent developments.


Vaccinations For Turkey
Hepatitis ARecommended for all travellers and expatriates,
Read more
Hepatitis BRecommended for most travellers and expatriates,
Read more
RabiesConsider for certain travellers, especially: For
Read more
Typhoid feverRecommended for adventurous and long-term
Read more
Routine Vaccinations

Disclaimer  Privacy

Travel security advice provided in this report represents the best judgment of AEA International Holdings Pte. Ltd. Medical and health advice provided in this report represents the best judgment of AEA International Holdings Pte. Ltd. Advice in this report does not however provide a warranty of future results nor a guarantee against risk.

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