Travel insurance for Turkey

Find out all you need to know about buying travel insurance for your trip to Turkey.

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Whether you’re going for the pristine beaches, the buzz of Istanbul or the kebabsolutely amazing food, the right travel insurance can help you out should your Turkish adventure go awry.

Check out our guide to finding the right insurance for your trip to Turkey.

Do I need travel insurance for Turkey?

The European health insurance card is not valid in Turkey, so either you or your insurer (we recommend the latter) will have to pay for any medical costs that arise on your trip.

You also have to consider the possible costs of cancellation, as well as stolen or delayed luggage and personal liability.

With luck you won’t have to use it, but insurance can cover you for:

  • Emergency medical expenses
  • Cancellation fees and lost deposits
  • Lost and stolen personal items
  • Personal liability

Are there any specific risks for Turkey?

  • Political instability. In 2016 the Turkish military forces and government were involved in a failed coup attempt. Although the situation has been largely resolved, demonstrations still take place in some cities.
  • Refugee conflicts. Turkey shares a border with Syria and has seen over two million refugees cross the border, causing considerable tension. Be aware of heightened tensions between Turkish locals and refugees, try to avoid hotspots and avoid getting involved.
  • Terrorism. Terror groups are active on the border between Turkey and Syria, and have shown a tendency to target westerners for kidnapping and murder. Try to avoid travelling within 50km of the border with Syria.
  • Safety for women. There has been an increase in the number of violent sexual assaults against female tourists travelling alone or in small groups in Turkey’s popular tourist areas, including Istanbul and Antalya. Exercise appropriate caution by watching your drinks and not travelling alone. Women may be safer and less likely to be targeted when travelling with men. Female travellers in Turkey should avoid isolated locations and travelling alone after dark.
  • Theft and crime. Muggings, assaults and theft are common in Turkey, particularly in the more crowded tourist areas. There have also been reports of English-speaking locals offering spiked food and drinks.
  • Disease. It’s always important for you to visit your GP 4 to 6 weeks before visiting Turkey, as you need to be up-to-date on vaccinations like rabies (there are a lot of stray dogs in Turkey) and diphtheria.

What activities should I consider getting cover for?

There’s tailored cover available for all the many different things you can get up to in Turkey.

  • Going for their amazing water sports? Get adventure sports cover for better medical coverage, damaged or lost equipment and the costs of any lessons or bookings you’ve made.
  • Going for a wedding? With its beautiful scenery, perfect weather and low cost accommodation, Turkey is a very popular place to get married, but this could risk the price of dresses, rings and pricy booking should anything go wrong, so you’ll need extra cover.

Are there any specific entry rules for Turkey?

  • Visas.For travellers lucky enough to be on a Mediterranean cruise, visas are not required at ports for trips of less than 72 hours. All other British citizens have to have a visa to visit Turkey. You can get an e-visa costing $20 and are valid for up to 90 days (including multiple trips) in a 180 day period. If you’re planning on studying or working in Turkey, you’ll have to apply for a visa though the Turkish consulate in London.
  • Medication. The use or possession of certain medication is tightly controlled in Turkey. If you’re travelling with prescription medication you should carry a medical certificate confirming that the medicine has been prescribed for a medical condition.

Current travel warnings

The British government has advised travellers not to travel to Sirnak, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Diyarb akir, Kilis and Hatay, as well as the provinces of Siirt, Tunceli and Hakkari. Travelling within 10 miles of the border with Syria or to the city of Diyarbakir is also warned against. Travellers are advised to always be aware of the risk of terrorist related incidents and to follow the instructions of the authorities if anything happens.

Who do I contact in the event of an emergency?

If there’s an emergency and you need immediate assistance, the emergency services number are: 155 (police), 112 (ambulance) and 110 (fire).

If you lose your passport, get into legal trouble or need other assistance, you’ll need to call the closest consular office, so take note of their number and address:
Ankara: +90 312 455 3344.
Antalya: +90 242 228 28 11
Bodrum: +90 252 412 64 88
Fethiye: +90 252 614 63 02
Istanbul: +90 212 334 64 00
İzmir: +90 232 463 51 51
Marmaris: +90 252 412 64 88

It’s really important that you keep your insurance details to hand and the number of your provider’s emergency helpline.

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