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| Updated on Jul 29, 2016

A Turkish snapshot

For some travellers, Turkey may feel like an overwhelming destination. Despite being one of the most varied and culturally rich lands in the world, many tourist are pulled back by the historically and politically convulse period the country is going through, Although Turkey is considered an unstable country due to the recent threat of terrorism and its proximity to the Syrian conflict, the United Kingdom and the US have no warnings for visitors regarding the vast majority of the country although they have strongly advised against all travel to within 10km of the border with Syria and the city of Diyarbakir. Both countries recommend against all but essential travel to the areas of Sirnak, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Diyarbakir, Kilis and Hatay provinces, as well as Siirt, Tunceli and Hakkari.

Besides the areas named above, travelling to Turkey does not pose major health threats. However, there are some easy tips that will allow you to enjoy your stay in the country to the fullest. Although Turkey offers a magnificent healthcare system (specially in the most populated areas), there are some health factors that need to be taken into account when travelling to the country. Tap water is not safe in Turkey, especially if you are travelling to the country for a short visit. Bottled water and purification water tablets will help you to stay safe during your stay.

Being aware of the environmental hazards of the country will allow you to prevent the most common accidents, such as heatstrokes. Heatstrokes occur when the body’s heat regulating mechanism breaks down and it may be caused by many reasons, among which the most prominent are extreme heat, high humidity, dehydration and drug use. In order to avoid them, make sure you stay hydrated and do not be exposed to the sun in the warmest hours of the day. Use high protection sunscreen to prevent from sunburns and other skin diseases. It is advisable to cover the most delicate parts of your body during the warmest hours. To prevent insect bites and stings, you should use DEET based insect repellent, and avoid strolling around riversides. In case of bite, an antihistamine cream that can be purchased at any pharmacy will easily sooth and reduce the inflammation.

Turkish sunset

If you are not feeling well during or after your visit to Turkey, do not hesitate to consult a doctor, as some symptoms may appear weeks after the end of your stay. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, please see Find a Clinic. Be sure to inform your doctor about any relevant information about your travels, such as your destination, whether you were in contact with non domestic animals or if you travel to unpopulated areas. To enter the country as a short-term visitor you must have a valid visa for Turkey that can be purchased online at e-Visa. The fee for a Turkey e-Visa ranges from US$20 prior arrival to US$30 upon arrival. Regarding Turkish visa requirements, your criminal record will be looked at, and you will need to respect the deadlines of your visa. If you are planning to travel to Turkey for any other purpose other than a mere visit or a short business trip, you must obtain a Turkish visa in advance from a Turkish Embassy or Consulate. More information about how to get a Turkish visa and other Turkey related matters can be found at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. More information can be found at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. U.S. citizens can contact the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey at 2525 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone: (202) 612-6700 (Turkish Embassy USA), or the Turkish Consulate Generals in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, or New York.

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