Home Travel Turkey earthquake: Can you still travel there and have airlines cancelled flights?

Turkey earthquake: Can you still travel there and have airlines cancelled flights?


Turkey is reeling after the country was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Monday morning, followed by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake and a series of aftershocks.

The death toll has risen to more than 4,000 in Turkey and neighbouring Syria.As rescue efforts continue in the country, travellers who had plans to visit Turkey may be confused about what to do.

The British Foreign & Commonwealth Office updated its guidance for UK travellers, advising tourists to “avoid the immediate vicinity” of the incident, which took place in the city of Gaziantep.

It also advised travellers in Turkey to follow the guidance of the relevant authorities.

“There have been several strong aftershocks. You should avoid the immediate vicinity and follow the advice of the local authorities,” reads the FCO’s advice.

Ten Turkish provinces have been most affected by the situation. These are:

• Adana

• Adiyaman

• Diyarbakir

• Gaziantep

• Hatay

• Kahramanmaras

• Kilis

• Malatya

• Osmaniye

• Sanliurfa

Gaziantep in the country’s south-eastern Anatolia region was the site of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake. One of the city’s most famous landmarks — the ancient Gaziantep Castle — has been severely damaged.

In Malatya, a historic mosque and high-rise hotel collapsed, and in Diyarbakir — a city 300km from the epicentre — a shopping mall collapsed following the

earthquake, reported The New York Times.

While south-eastern Turkey is well-known for its culinary tourism, it’s not one of the country’s main holiday destinations and lies hundreds of kilometres from more famous hotspots such as Istanbul and Antalya. February is also not peak tourism season for the region.

Popular holiday destinations in Turkey such as Cappadocia and the Aegean coast are unlikely to be heavily affected by the situation.

Do tourists need to be worried about aftershocks?

As tremors from the initial quake were felt as far away as Cyprus, Lebanon and Israel, more than 40 aftershocks were also reported.Geological survey agencies said more could occur.

The UK foreign office has advised tourists to be aware of the risk of aftershocks in the coming days.

Have airlines cancelled flights to Turkey?

Most international airlines continue to operate flights to Turkey. Istanbul Airport — the country’s main hub for international flights — is operating as normal.

On Monday night, Etihad Airways, Emirates and flydubai confirmed to The National that flights to Turkey from the UAE remain unaffected by the situation.

Turkish Airlines — the country’s national carrier — has cancelled a few operations including some flights to Samsun, Adiyaman and Siirt.The airline is prioritising operations to help with search-and-rescue efforts.

In a statement shared with The National, the airline said it had “planned our operational priority to deliver the rescue teams and expert teams, aid materials, and necessary equipment to the region for now”.

Turkish Airlines’s cargo planes across the country have been flying rescue and security forces, plus provisions to places where they are most needed.

News source: The National

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