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Urgent warning issued for tourists heading to Turkey

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Holiday makers travelling to Turkey this summer have been warned to take extra care over fears that terrorist attacks targeting western interests and tourists are "likely."

Advice issued this week by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) says that tourists should avoid large gatherings and follow the advice of local authorities over fears that upcoming elections may result in rallies and demonstrations across the country.

Holiday makers travelling to Turkey this summer have been warned to take extra care

Holiday makers travelling to Turkey this summer have been warned to take extra care

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A spokesman for the Foreign Office said in a statement: "Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Turkey. Terrorist groups, including Kurdish groups, Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) and far left organisations, continue to plan and carry out attacks. Further attacks could be indiscriminate.

"Most terrorist attacks have taken place in the south and east of the country and in Ankara and Istanbul. Attacks are most likely to target the Turkish state, civilians and demonstrations.

"Nevertheless, it’s likely that some attacks will also target western interests and tourists from western countries, particularly in the major cities.

"The Turkish authorities have successfully disrupted attack planning in the recent past and have said that security has been tightened in response to recent attacks.

"You should be vigilant, follow the advice of local security authorities, monitor media reports and keep up to date with this travel advice."

The elections are due to take place on June 24, 2018 and tourists are also warned in the FCO statement to expect additional security checks in busy areas and at the airport. Travellers have been told to keep their passports with them and a printed copy of their e-visa or residence permit with them at all times.

The warning comes on the back of existing travel advice from the FCO which warns against all travel to within 10 km of the border with Syria and to the city of Diyarbakir.

The FCO also says that only essential journeys should be made to the remaining areas of Sirnak, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Diyarbakir, Kilis and Hatay provinces and the provinces of Siirt, Tunceli and Hakkari.

British nationals made over 1.7 million visits to Turkey in 2016. Most visits are trouble free. Holidaymakers are warned to be alert to your surroundings and remain vigilant in crowded places popular with foreign nationals, including during festival periods.

You can contact the emergency services by calling 155 (police), 112 (ambulance) and 110 (fire).

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.