It is important to secure the right type of Turkey insurance before travelling or working there. Terrorism presents a threat from both domestic extremist groups and those involved in the Syrian civil war. Healthcare and road travel can be poor in the more remote regions. For short stays, standard Turkey travel insurance may be sufficient, but extended residency, high-risk areas or business operations may need specialist cover.
Turkey insurance – quick facts
- There is a high risk of terrorism
- Political demonstrations can become violent
- International health insurance in Turkey is essential, along with cover for emergency evacuation
- Specialist high-risk Turkey insurance may be required in some regions
Get the right insurance for Turkey
- Specialist Turkey insurance – can include protection for personnel, property, vehicles and equipment and crews and cargoes for offshore activities
- We can help you to understand and meet contractual and local insurance obligations in Turkey
- Depending on the region or occupation you are working in, specialist Turkey insurance may be advised for visitors and expats
- We can cover you for life, personal accident, personal disability, medical emergencies, evacuation and other specialist insurance needs, including kidnap and ransom cover
Potential issues in Turkey
Straddling two continents, Turkey’s strategic position has caused it to be one of history’s most fought over countries. Its rich and varied landscape is dotted with the ruins of great empires and battlegrounds.
Though Turkey is on the whole a safe place to visit, there is threat of terrorism from a number of domestic groups and Islamic extremists. Long-standing tensions with its Kurdish population have led to conflict and the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has been responsible for terrorist activity though this has been concentrated mainly in the south eastern provinces.
While PKK activity is targeted mainly at the Turkish authorities, the activities of Islamist extremist groups are known to specifically target secular and western interests. More recently the situation has been greatly complicated by the civil war in neighbouring Syria, with Islamic State fighters claiming land just across the border.
Anyone travelling to areas against FCO advice will probably need specialist Turkey insurance that will remain effective in the event of acts of war or terrorism. Kidnap and ransom insurance may also be advised since Islamic State have called on its supporters to kidnap and kill any nationals from those countries belonging to the US coalition that is fighting against them in Iraq.
While the political and security situation across Turkey is stable there have been large-scale protests against the government. Always avoid demonstrations and rallies and be prepared to leave an area quickly should one begin.
Crime is relatively low, but pickpocketing can be problem in Istanbul and tourist spots. Sexual assaults on foreign nationals have been reported, predominantly in coastal resorts.
Poor road maintenance and reckless driving can make travel hazardous in the more remote regions of the country. Healthcare can be of a very high standard in urban centres but less so in remote regions. International health insurance in Turkey is strongly encouraged and should include emergency evacuation and repatriation cover.
Latest advice from the FCO
The FCO advise against all travel to specific regions and all but essential travel to other specific regions. There is a high risk of terrorism and kidnapping in some regions. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.