Catastrophic earthquakes in February 2023 cost in excess of 32,000 lives in the south-east of Turkey (with 10,000 more in Syria) and have destroyed much of the basic infrastructure. High-risk insurance with medical evacuation is recommended if you are going to provide support services there. Elsewhere, terrorism can present a threat from both domestic and international extremist groups.
- International health insurance in Turkey is essential, along with cover for emergency evacuation, particularly in the earthquake affected regions in the south east
- There is a high risk of terrorism
- Political demonstrations can become violent
Potential issues in Turkey
The earthquakes that affected 10 provinces in the south-east of Turkey in February 2023 will have a lasting legacy in Turkey for years to come. Anyone considering humanitarian support or commercial work in these areas should consider putting Medical Evacuation and Personal Accident insurance in place before working there.
Elsewhere, Turkey on the whole a safe place to visit, but there is a threat of terrorism from a number of domestic groups and Islamic extremists. The activities of some Islamist extremist groups are known to specifically target secular and western interests. The situation is further complicated by the civil war in neighbouring Syria.
Anyone travelling to areas against FCDO 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.
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. If you have a business here, or you are importing or exporting, Trade and Political Risk insurance will cover operational uncertainties.
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 also strongly encouraged.