THE POPULAR tourist destination of Turkey has seen a slump in visitor numbers after a number of attacks blighted the country throughout 2016 and into 2017.
While those were a while ago now, the Syria situation means there are still concerns – so is it now safe for holidaymakers to travel to the country?
What is the situation now and is it safe to travel?
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all travel to within 10km of Turkey’s border with Syria, and to the large Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, which has been rocked by violence.
It also warns against all but essential travel to anywhere in the southern areas of Sirnak, Mardin, Diyarbakir, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Kilis and Hatay, Siirt and Haakari – and the more central Tunceli.
According to the FCO, there is a high threat from terrorism, with heightened risk against British nationals – they advise travellers to remain vigilant.
They say on their website: “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.
There is also a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation but direct flights continue to depart to the UK from Turkey.
Most of the terrorist attacks have occurred in the south and east of the country and in Ankara and Instanbul, and attackers are more likely to target the Turkish state, civilians and demonstrations.
However, it says it is generally safe to travel to Turkey, as long as you remain alert to your surroundings and vigilant in crowded place, and stay well away from political demonstrations.
What is the situation in Syria?
Tensions between the US and Russia have been approaching breaking point for some time as the crisis in Syria puts the middle east on a war footing.
With both sides refusing to back down, here’s what’s happened since a devastating chemical attack in Syria sparked outrage.
The fighting talk escalated between the old rivals, as both continued to threaten retaliation after another chemical attack in Syria.
At least 60 civilians were killed after “poisonous chlorine gas” unfolded in the besieged town of Douma on April 7.
On April 10, Turkey’s national defence minister Nurettin Canikli warned of an impending “World War 3” as tensions intensify.
And citizens in Russia have even been given advice on how to survive a nuclear missile attack.
The fears come as Vladimir Putin’s envoy vowed Russia would retaliate if Trump’s administration was to launch a missile strike on Syria.
And overnight on Friday April 13, British jets joined American and French forces in launching air strikes on chemical weapons facilities in Syria.
The three nations launched more than 100 airstrikes in a “one-time shot”, that was more than double the firepower of the US airstrike on a Syrian base last year.
Donald Trump said British and French military forces had joined the campaign in response to the “evil and despicable crimes of a monster”.