Foreign Entry Requirements and Travel Tips:

Foreign Entry Requirements and Country Information

International Travel Information for US Citizens


Entry Requirements




Passport Required?


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Visa Required?


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Immunization Required?


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Invitation Required?


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Additional Requirements?


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Entry/Exit Requirements
A passport and visa are required. Currently, holders of all types of passports can purchase a 90-day sticker visa at the port of entry for $20 cash, if they are traveling to Turkey as tourists. For further information, travelers in the U.S. may contact the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey at 2525 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone: (202) 612-6700, or the Turkish consulates general in Chicago, Houston,

Los Angeles, or New York. Information may also be found at Internet address http://www.turkey.org/. Overseas, travelers may contact a Turkish embassy or consulate. Holders of official and diplomatic passports on official business must obtain a visa from a Turkish embassy or consulate before arrival in Turkey. Holders of official and diplomatic passports on private travel may receive a visa free of charge from a Turkish embassy or consulate, or obtain one upon arrival at the port of entry for $20 cash. All those who are planning to stay more than three months for any purpose are required to obtain a visa from a Turkish embassy or consulate. Such travelers must also apply for a residence/work permit or Turkish ID card within the first month of their arrival in Turkey. For example, this would include anyone who plans to spend more than three months doing research, studying, or working in Turkey.

All travelers are advised to obtain entry stamps on the passport page containing their visa at the first port of entry before transferring to domestic flights. Failure to obtain entry stamps at the port of entry has occasionally resulted in serious difficulties for travelers when they attempt to depart the country.

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated special procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship to the person traveling with the child and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure. Please refer to Traveling with Children for detailed information.
68,893,918 (July 2004 est.)
noun: Turk(s)
adjective: Turkish
Country Name
conventional long form: Republic of Turkey
conventional short form: Turkey
local long form: Turkiye Cumhuriyeti
local short form: Turkiye
temperate; hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters; harsher in interior
Turkish lira (TRL)
Government Type
republican parliamentary democracy
U.S. Embassy Location
chief of mission: Ambassador Eric S. EDELMAN
embassy: 110 Ataturk Boulevard, Kavaklidere, 06100 Ankara
mailing address: PSC 93, Box 5000, APO AE 09823
telephone: [90] (312) 455-5555
FAX: [90] (312) 467-0019
consulate(s) general: Istanbul
consulate(s): Adana; note - there is a Consular Agent in Izmir
Legal System
derived from various European continental legal systems; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews)
Country Background
Present-day Turkey was created in 1923 from the Turkish remnants of the Ottoman Empire. Soon thereafter, the country instituted secular laws to replace traditional religious fiats. In 1945 Turkey joined the UN, and in 1952 it became a member of NATO. Turkey intervened militarily on Cyprus in 1974 to protect Turkish Cypriots and prevent a Greek takeover of the island; the northern 37 percent of the island remains under Turkish Cypriot control. Relations between the Turkey and Greece have improved greatly over the past few years. In 1984, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a Marxist-Leninist, separatist group, initiated an insurgency in southeast Turkey, often using terrorist tactics to try to attain its goal of an independent Kurdistan. The group - whose leader, Abdullah OCALAN, was captured in Kenya in February 1999 - has largely ceased violent attacks since it declared a unilateral cease-fire in September 1999. Nonetheless, occasional clashes have occurred between Turkish security forces and armed PKK militants, many of whom remain in northern Iraq. In April 2002, the PKK changed its name to the Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress (KADEK). In November 2003, the group changed names again, becoming the Kurdistan People's Congress (KHK).
Safety and Security
Terrorist bombings -- some with significant numbers of casualties -- over the past two years have struck religious, political, and business targets in a variety of locations in Turkey. The potential remains throughout Turkey for violence and terrorist actions against U.S. citizens and interests, both by transnational and indigenous terrorist organizations.

In November 2003 the Al-Qa'ida network was responsible for four large suicide bombings in Istanbul that targeted western interests. The British Consulate, HSBC Bank, and two synagogues were targeted by massive suicide truck bombs that killed dozens of people and wounded hundreds. These incidents represent a significant change from prior attacks in Turkey and show an increasing willingness on the part of the terrorist to attack Western targets. Consistent with Al-Qa'ida's world-wide operations, and as indicated in State Department world wide public announcements, it is possible that a terror cell fostered by Al-Qa'ida could strike again in Turkey without warning.

Indigenous terrorist groups also continue to target Turkish as well as U.S. and Western interests. In June 2004 the indigenous terrorist group PKK/KADEK/KONGRA GEL announced an end to their “unilateral ceasefire.� Since the announcement, there have been several attacks in the southeast region of Turkey, where the group has traditionally concentrated its activities. In addition to these attacks, on August 10, 2004 bombs exploded in two small hotels near the center of Istanbul, leading to two fatalities (one of whom was a foreign tourist) and injuring several others. A Kurdish group ostensibly aligned with pro-Kurdish and PKK separatists claimed responsibility for the Istanbul attack and for other incidents that had occurred in the popular coastal tourist destinations of Bodrum, Antalya, and Mersin. While claiming responsibility for the incidents, the group also warned tourists to stay away.

In the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, the predecessor to the Turkish group Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) assassinated two Americans in Turkey. Recent information suggests that the DHKP/C may again be looking to attack Americans or American interests in Turkey. Groups such as the DHKP/C, PKK/KADEK/KONGRA GEL, IDBA-C, and others continue to target Turkish officials and various civilian facilities and may use terrorist activity to make political statements.

In 2002, 2003, and 2004, civilian venues such as courthouses and fast food restaurants have been the targets of minor bomb attacks, which have resulted in small numbers of casualties among bystanders. Similar, random bombings are likely to continue in unpredictable locations.

Americans traveling to Southeastern Turkey, the site of PKK/KADEK/KONGRA GEL actions, should exercise caution. See the section below on Travel in Southeast Turkey for more information.

In light of the November 2003 and August 2004 bombings in Istanbul and ongoing security concerns, Americans should exercise caution and good judgment, keep a low profile, and remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and exercise caution. Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. As security is increased at official U.S. facilities, terrorists will seek softer targets. These may include facilities where Americans and Westerners are known to live, congregate, shop, or visit, especially hotels, clubs, restaurants, shopping centers, housing compounds, transportation systems, places of worship, schools, or outdoor recreation events or resorts and beaches. U.S. citizens should remain in a heightened state of personal security awareness when attendance at such locations is unavoidable.

International and domestic political issues sometimes trigger demonstrations in most major cities in Turkey. We wish to remind American citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. American citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations.

SOUTHEAST TURKEY: The provinces in southeastern Turkey are Sirnak, Diyarbakir, Van, Siirt, Mus, Mardin, Batman, Bingol, Tunceli, Hakkari, Bitlis, Adana, Adiyaman, Hatay, Elazig, Gaziantep, Kahraman Maras, Kilis, Malatya, Icel, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa. Travelers should exercise caution when in the region. Mount Ararat, in Agri province, is a special military zone and access permission must be obtained from the Turkish government.

The PKK/KADEK/KONGRA GEL retains a presence in certain parts of southeastern Turkey. Although the official “State of Emergency� designation has been removed for all provinces of the southeast and no provinces are currently officially designated as sensitive areas, PKK/KADEK/KONGRA GEL activity continues in much of the region. Americans traveling in southeastern Turkey should exercise caution due to PKK/KADEK/KONGRA GEL violence.

Roadside explosions caused by remote controlled land mines or other improvised explosive devices in Batman, Sirnak, Hakkari, Siirt Mardin, Diyarbakir and Tunceli provinces, have occurred since late March 2004. There have also been a number of PKK/KADEK/KONGRA GEL raids on Jandarma posts and ambushes of Turkish security force vehicle patrols in rural areas in many southeastern Turkey provinces since April 2004. Please be advised of these travel risk factors.

There was also a car bomb attack against the governor of Van province in early July that caused several fatalities.

Visitors to southeastern Turkey are advised to travel only during daylight hours and on major highways.

The Turkish Jandama and police forces monitor checkpoints on roads throughout the southeastern region. Travelers should be cooperative if stopped at any checkpoint.

Drivers and all passengers in the vehicle should be prepared to provide their identification cards or passports, driver license and vehicle registration if stopped at a checkpoint. At these check points, roll down the driver's side window (passenger side, also, in vehicles with tinted windows) when stopped by security force officials. Security forces can then safely inspect the vehicle and its occupants. Remain calm, do not make sudden movements and obey all instructions. Access to some roads may be restricted by security officials, at times, and security force escort vehicles may be required to “convoy� visitors through troublesome areas. In some cases, this must be arranged in advance.

Travelers are cautioned not to accept letters, parcels, or other items from strangers for delivery either in or outside of Turkey. PKK/KADEK/KONGRA GEL has attempted to use foreigners to deliver messages and packages in or outside of Turkey. If discovered, individuals could be arrested for aiding and abetting the PKK/KADEK/KONGRA GEL – a serious charge.

Department of State personnel are subject to travel restrictions in Sirnak, Diyarbakir, Van, Siirt, Mus, Mardin, Batman, Bingol, Tunceli, Hakkari, Bitlis, and Elazig provinces. U.S. military and DOD civilians should consult their local area commander regarding any restrictions in effect for southeastern Turkey.

A map of the affected region is available on the Embassy website at http://ankara.usembassy.gov/SECURTY/SECST.HTM. Crossing the border with Iraq can be time-consuming as the Turkish Government tightly controls entry and exit. American citizens wishing to cross into Iraq from Turkey generally do not require prior permission from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, they must still have a valid travel document, such as a passport, to enter Iraq from Turkey. Travelers wishing to enter Turkey from Iraq must have both a valid travel document and current visa.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Middle East and North Africa Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and other Public Announcements can be found.

Up to date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States, or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-317-472-2328. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
Street crime is relatively low in Turkey, although it is increasing in large urban centers such as Istanbul and Izmir. Women appear to have been targeted for muggings or robberies. Visitors should not be complacent regarding personal safety or the protection of valuables. The same precautions employed in the US should be followed in Turkey. As in other large metropolitan areas throughout the world, common street crimes include pickpocketing, purse snatching, and mugging. English-or French-speaking foreigners, who identified themselves as Tunisian, Moroccan, Egyptian, Kuwaiti, or Romanian, have also targeted foreign tourists. These persons have befriended the tourists and then drugged them, using teas, juice, alcohol, or food. Two common drugs used are nembitol, known on the street as sari bomba (the yellow bomb) and benzodiazepine; when used incorrectly they can cause death. In similar cases, tourists are invited to visit clubs or bars, and then presented with inflated bills (often exceeding $1000), and coerced to pay them by credit card.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.
Medical Facilities
Turkish hospitals vary greatly. The new, private hospitals in Ankara and Istanbul have modern facilities and equipment, and numerous U.S.-trained specialists, but still may be unable to treat certain serious conditions. The State Department recommends medical evacuation for its personnel who will be giving birth. Those planning to remain in Turkey should consider bringing a six-month supply of necessary chronic medications (e.g., heart medications, birth control pills). Nursing care and diagnostic testing (including mammograms) are not up to American standards.


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