Turkey Risk Assessment Country Guide

Doing Business in Turkey

Situated in an ancient and often disputed region, modern day Turkey spans two continents and borders eight different nations. The country has a strong economy and a rising gross domestic product, with more than 74 million residents. However, given its location near Iraq and Syria, the nation presents a number of risks to foreign travelers and expats.

The political climate in Turkey can be volatile. While more than 2.5 million British nationals visit each year, with few problems, demonstrations and rallies are increasing in frequency, and there is a high risk of terrorism. 

On June 27, 2016, the State Department issued a travel warning for Turkey, which supersedes the warning from March 29, 2016. Foreign tourists have been explicitly targeted by international and indigenous terrorist organizations that have targeted large sporting events, theaters, open markets, aviation services, transportation systems, and public venues where people congregate as well as religious sites and high-profile events. The State Department ordered the departure of family members of government personnel posted to the U.S. Consulate in Adana and family members of government civilians in Izmir and Mugla provinces. The State department also restricted official travel to Turkey to “mission-critical” travel only.

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all travel to the towns of Akḉakale and Ceylanpinar on the Syrian border. Turkey's border regions with Syria and Iraq can be potentially dangerous.  These precautions are due to threats from international and indigenous groups, travelers should exercise caution when traveling throughout the country. Recent terrorist attacks from international and indigenous groups have targeted popular tourist sites, government buildings, police, and other local authorities throughout Turkey. The threat of kidnapping remains a concern, especially in the southeast. 

If you plan on traveling to Turkey, it is recommended that you take out comprehensive international insurance coverage. The right policy can limit the financial impact of life outside of your home country. 

  • Health
  • Safety & Security
  • Terrorism

Prior to leaving for Turkey, you should discuss all possible vaccinations and other preventative measures with your primary care physician. Turkey's medical facilities are improving, while better care can be expected in private hospitals compared to public ones. However, the costs associated with treatment could be high.

Clements Worldwide offers GlobalCare® health insurance, with USD 5 million in health care benefits. A policy includes flexible payment options, choice of deductible and 24/7 multilingual claims assistance. With Clements, your family also abroad will be covered, and you can choose from any doctor without a limiting network of options. An optional War and Terrorism extension is available. 

While in Turkey, you may need to travel in order to receive appropriate levels of care. Clements offers Medical Evacuation and Repatriation insurance, which covers expenses to transport you to a capable medical facility in case a local medical center isn’t able to provide adequate treatment.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email request@clements.com to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Turkey.

Source: UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Clements Worldwide

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions

The political situation in Turkey has become unstable in certain regions. The number of demonstrations is on the rise, and many of these incidents have turned violent. The largest events have taken place in central Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. The chance of strong police response is high during any political protest, so you should be cautious while near any large, public gatherings.

Turkish road conditions can be poor across the country. Accidents occur often, and driving at night can be particularly dangerous. These incidents are typically caused by hazardous roads and reckless driving. The Turkish police reported that there were more than 1.2 million road accidents in 2011, with 3,835 deaths and more than 238,074 injuries.

On October 29, 2016 the United States Department of State issued a travel warning for individuals traveling to Turkey. Due to continued aggressive attacks on U.S. citizens in Istanbul, authorities ordered the departure of Consul employees’ families and encourage extreme caution to other travelers during the declared Turkish state of emergency following recent political events. The Consulate General will remain open and fully operational.

On September 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of State warned travellers of increased threats from terrorist groups in various regions across Turkey. In particular, travellers should avoid travel to southeast Turkey. The U.S. Department of State has ended the authorization for voluntary departure from the country for embassy employees and their families. The State Department warns travellers to carefully consider travel in the wake of the State of Emergency and terrorist attacks in Ankara, Istanbul, Gaziantep, and regions in the southeast.

Clements offers international car insurance, which includes Physical Damage, Third Party, and Excess Liability coverage. With flexible deductible options and fast claims processing, your policy will provide coverage for your vehicle fleet whether it’s on the road, parked or transported abroad.

An optional Political Violence extension is also recommended, which broadens the coverage to include strikes, riots, malicious damage, sabotage, war, terrorism or civil unrest. 

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email request@clements.com to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Turkey.

Source: UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Clements Worldwide

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions

Attacks could be indiscriminate and target public locations often visited by expats and tourists in Turkey. Additional regional instability is felt near the Syrian border. Violence has been reported in these locations. 

On October 31, 2016 PKK militants killed 3 Turkish soldiers in a grenade attack in Cukurca, Turkey. In addition to those killed, three attackers perished and 5 other individuals were injured.

On October 16, 2016 a suicide bombing killed three people and injured eight others. The attack occurred during a police raid.

On October 14, 2016 PKK militants carried out a bomb attack in Hakkâri. Four people were killed and 12 others were injured.

On October 9, 2016 the PKK carried out a suicide car bomb attack in Şemdinli, Hakkari. Eighteen people were killed and 27 others were wounded in the Turkey-PKK conflict.

On October 6, 2016 PKK militants killed a soldier in the Van Province. In a separate attack, a bomb attached to a motorcycle targeted a police station and exploded, injuring 11 people.

On October 5, 2016 a shootout between PKK militants and a military base in Lice killed 3 people and injured 4 others.

On October 2, 2016 the Islamic State launched a rocket attack on the Turkish city of Kilis, killing one person.

On September 26, 2016, PKK militants are suspected to be the perpetrates of an attack that killed 4 and wounded 10 others in Mardin Province, Turkey.

On Sept 22, 2016, militant associated with the Islamic State launched rockets into the Turkish town of Kilis, injuring 9 people.

On September 13, 2016 the PKK carried out car bomb attacks in the Van Province of Turkey, injuring 53 people but killing none. The target was the headquarters of the Justice and Development Party.

On September 10, 2016, a Tunceli province citizen was killed in an attack that is suspected to have been perpetrated by PKK Militants in connection to the ongoing Kurdish-Turkish conflicts.

On August 28, 2016, 2 Turkish soldiers were wounded in clashes with the PKK and at least 7 militants of Kurdistan Workers' Party. Two soldiers were wounded.

On August 26, 2016, 11 policemen were killed and 78 were injured in a car bomb explosion at a checkpoint.

On August 25, 2016, a person was killed and 3 were injured after an assassination attempt on a Turkish opposition leader

On August 24, 2016, 4 Turkish soldiers were killed in a PKK ambush in the district of Lice in Diyarbakir province. Also, a soldier died after being hit by a mine during a military operation against PKK units in the province of Bingol.

On August 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of State extended the voluntary departure of employee family members assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara as well as the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul through September 23, 2016 in relation to the Turkish government 90-day state of emergency following the July 15 coup attempt. 

On August 20, 2016, a child suicide bomb attack at a Kurdish wedding ceremony near the Syrian border killed at least 50 and injured 94.

On August 18, 2016, a car bombing in Elazig killed 3 officers and injured 217 including 85 officers.

On August 17, 2016, 3 people were killed and 40 others were injured in a car bomb explosion outside a police station near the Iranian border.

On August 10, 2016, 4 people were killed in a blasts and dozens more were injured in Mardin province and Kiziltepe. Also, a blast killed at least 5 people, and injured 10 others in Diyarbakir, Turkey.

On August 5, 2016, 2 Turkish soldiers were killed in a PKK ambush in the Şemdinli department of Hakkari Province. Six other soldiers were wounded in firefights.

On August 4, 2016, a homosexual Syrian man was beheaded by an Islamic terror group.

On August 1, 2016, a truck exploded near police cars killing 7 policemen and injuring 2 others.

On July 29, 2016, five soldiers were killed and 8 others were wounded in a PKK attack in Çukurca,

On July 25, 2016, three policemen were killed by a land mine suspected of being placed by members of the PKK organization.

On July 15, 2016, members of the Turkish Armed Forces attempted a coup d'état against the sitting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. As a part of the attempt, military personnel seized control of both bridges in Istanbul and other key locations in Ankara including the International Airport. The Turkish Parliament building was bombed, the Presidential Palace in Ankara was shelled, and the country witness widespread clashes between police officers and civilians. The coup was ultimately unsuccessful and the President has instated a 3-month state of Emergency. Travelers should reconsider travel to Turkey as the situation stabilizes.

On July 5, 2016, 2 soldiers and 1 civilian were killed and more than 10 others were wounded when a suspected PKK car bomb exploded in Cevizlik. 

On June 28, 2016, three suicide attackers opened fire on and blew themselves up at the Atatürk Airport in Istanbul, killing 36 people and injuring nearly 150 others.

On June 7, 2016, a bomb exploded on a police bus in the Vezneciler district of Istanbul, killing 11 people and injuring 36 others.

On May 1, 2016, two policeman was killed and twenty-two others, including four civilians, were wounded after a car bomb exploded out a police headquarters in Gaziantep.

On April 27, 2016, a suicide bomber blew herself up in the Turkish city of Bursa, wounding 13 people in the Bursa's 14th century Grand Mosque, a historic symbol of the city that was the first capital of the Ottoman Empire.

On April 18, 2016, four rocket projectiles fired from Syria struck a Turkish border town, killing three Syrian children and a Syrian man. A Turkish citizen and five other Syrians were also wounded in the rocket fire that hit the southern town of Kilis, where the Syrian refugee population outnumbers the local population. One person later died.

On April 2, 2016, one building guard was killed and 11 others were injured in a bomb attack by PKK terrorists at a military station in the southeastern Mardin province.

On March 31, 2016, 7 police officers were killed and 27 wounded when the minibus they were travelling in was hit by a car bomb. The attack occurred in the city of Diyarbakir. The PKK claimed responsibility for the attack.

On March 24, 2016, a car bomb attack in southeast Turkey has killed three soldiers. 24 soldiers were wounded when the Kurdistan's Workers Party, or PKK, attacked the military post in Lice.

On March 19, 2016, a suicide bomber hit a busy tourist area in central Istanbul, killing at least 4 people and injuring 46 people in the blast. The deceased victims are 3 Israelis and 1 Iranians. Nine of the injured are Israeli as well.

On March 4, 2016, two policemen were killed and 35 people injured in the explosion of a car bomb and in a rocket attack in the Mardin Province in southeastern Turkey. The attack occurred in the town of Nusaybin, near the Syrian border. The operation was not claimed immediately, but it would be the fact of fighters Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), according to Turkish security services.

On March 13, 2016, a car bombing in the Kizilay area of Ankara killed at least 34 people and wounded at least 125. The bombing caused several vehicles to catch on fire and gunfire was heard after the blast.

On February 29, 2016, the State Department issued a travel warning for southeastern Turkey. Given the recent terrorist attacks and increased threats from international and indigenous groups, people should exercise caution when traveling throughout the country.

On February 17, 2016, at least 28 people died and 61 were injured in the Turkish capital. The attack targeted the army buses near the central square of Kizilay. Many ministries, the headquarters of the army and the Turkish parliament are in this neighborhood. The Turkish news channels showed images of a raging fire that engulfed military vehicles. The explosion was audible several kilometers away.

On February 18, 2016, a bomb killed at least 6 soldiers and another were injured. The attack occurred on 18 February 2016 in Diyarbakır a city in Diyarbakır Province.

On January 13, 2016, a massive bomb blast, followed by rocket and long gun fire, destroyed a police headquarters in the city of Cinar in the Diyarbakir Province. 5 people, including a baby, were killed and 36 were wounded. 8 terrorists were killed in clashes with police following the bombing. The militant Kurdish organization PKK has been blamed for the blast.

On January 12, 2016, a suicide bomber blew himself up near Hippodrome of Constantinople near the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul, killing 11 people and wounding another 14, most of whom were foreign tourist. No group claimed responsibility but Turkish authorities suspect the Islamic state.

On November 24, 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian warplane for invading its airspace. At least one of the two pilots were killed. Turkish officials said that the plane ignored repeated warnings as it crossed over into its airspace from Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the act a "stab in the back." He also said that there will be "significant consequences."

On October 10, 2015, just three weeks before the parliamentary elections, two suicide bombers blew themselves up near Ankara central station where a rally for peace supported by HDP, Peoples' Democratic Party. The attack left 102 dead and 508 injured. The bombings occurred as groups of Kurds and leftists planned to march and protest the armed conflict between the Turkish state and Kurdish militants. The attack is considered the worst terrorist attack in modern Turkish history.

On August 2, 2015, one of the largest terrorist presences in Turkey, the Kongra Gel, formerly known as the PKK, carried out a suicide attack on Turkish military police, killing two officers and wounding 31 people. The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Ergodan claimed peace with PKK is impossible at this point, and a collapsed ceasefire process has caused tension in the country.

On July 20, 2015, a bomb was detonated during a Peoples’ Democratic Party protest at the Amara Cultural Centre in the Suruc district of Turkey, killing 33 people and injuring over 100. Most victims were part of the Socialist Party of the Oppressed Youth Wing, a group dedicated to reconstructing the Syrian border town of Kobani, which had been completely destroyed by ISIL. The next day, ISIL claimed responsibility and ended Turkey’s policy of inaction towards the organization. 

In May 2013, two separate car bombs killed 53 people and injured more than 100 in the town of Reyhanli, in the Hatay Province. In September, another car bomb exploded at a roadblock near the Syrian border, killing at least seven people and wounding 20 more. Later that month, two rockets hit a police compound in Ankara, while an unexploded rocket was found nearby. 

In March 2013, the PKK, agreed to a ceasefire with the Turkish government. While this is still in place, the group stopped its withdrawal into northern Iraq. This border region is extremely volatile. In addition, the Syrian border region is also affected by that country's current conflict. This could pose security problems to foreigners, so you should exercise caution.

On October 4, 2012, five Turkish citizens were killed when a shell fell on the town of Akḉakale. Syrian forces are operating near the Turkish border and threat of terrorism here is high.

A War and Terrorism insurance policy from Clements offers the right coverage against the risks of civil unrest, war, riots, looting and acts of terrorism.

Clements also provides a Kidnap and Ransom insurance policy, which ensures financial assistance following a kidnapping, such as independent investigations, negotiations, and the arrangement and delivery of funds.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email request@clements.com to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Turkey.

Source: UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Clements Worldwide

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions