Much of Turkey is beautiful and sunny – with soaring temps, Mediterranean beaches and plenty of fun water activities for kids to enjoy ?


You might also find it’s pretty cheap compared to other family holiday destinations at the mo, too.

But after years of unrest in various regions and neighbouring countries like Syria, you might be wondering: is Turkey really a safe place to visit with my family?

Certain parts of Turkey are 100% a no-go zone, but there are some regions where there are no official warnings to completely steer clear.

Here’s everything you need to know about safe travelling to Turkey with little ones in tow…

Which areas in Turkey are safest for families?

Families hoping for a classic poolside holiday with a killer beach view visit areas in the provinces of Dalaman, Antalya, Feyithe and Bodrum - all generally considered to be safe.

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The city of Mamaris is also popular – and is approx. 700 miles away from the Turkish-Syrian border.

We reckon it’s more likely for grown-ups to visit Istanbul, which is in the Manmara region, sans kids. That said, there’s nothing on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website advising against travel to Istanbul, however it does currently state that police are carrying out ID checks on the public from time to time.

If you decide to visit Istanbul on your holiday, keep your passport and all relevant documents with you (zipped up tight in a cross-body bag, ideally) as you venture out to ensure you’re not caught off guard.

Be sure you’re dealing with the actual police before you just whip out your family's passports, though!

Which places in Turkey are unsafe to visit for families?

Due to continuous unrest in Syria, families should obviously avoid anywhere near the border and surrounding areas.

“The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to within 10 km of the border with Syria and to the city of Diyarbakir,” it states on

“The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the remaining areas of:

  • Sirnak
  • Mardin
  • Sanliurfa
  • Gaziantep
  • Diyarbakir
  • Kilis
  • Hatay provinces
  • Siirt province
  • Tunceli province
  • Hakkari province

Is there a terrorist threat in Turkey right now?

Yes, the Foreign Office says that terrorists are “very likely” to carry out attacks in Turkey.

In 2016, there were several publicised terrorist attacks. You can read the FCO’s full report of the recent attacks here.

The capital of Turkey, Istanbul, along with the city of Ankara in the Central Anatolia region, are where most recent terrorist attacks have occurred.

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

Keep in mind that it is also “very likely” for terrorist attacks to happen in France, Germany, and the threat is even considered “severe” on UK soil.

Is it safe for UK families to travel through Turkish airports?

Travelling to Turkey is typically OK – if you have all of the relevant documentation with you.

If you and your children are British nationals, you need to get an e-Visa before travelling. The FCO warns not to be scammed by fake visa websites, and to only use the official Republic of Turkey e-Visa website.

Each e-Visa will cost approx £20, so make sure you budget for it. We’d definitely suggest doing it advance, too, as they’re apparently ‘phasing out’ letting you pay for one as you arrive in the country.

We should also add that the FCO warns of a “heightened risk of terrorist attack against the aviation industry in Turkey.”

You might also find that there are additional security measures at Turkish airports – the FCO says to simply co-operate with security officials to make sure your transit is as smooth as poss.

What else do I need to know about travelling in Turkey?

Turkey’s still considered to be in a “state of emergency” following the failed military coup that took place on 15/16 July 2016. The dust has generally seemed to settle a bit, though, for now.

And in 2016 alone, there were 1.7 million visits to Turkey from British tourists and travellers – and the FCO says “most visits are trouble-free”.

Whenever you decide to travel abroad, you should remain alert and vigilant, especially if you end up in a big crowd or go out on a public holiday.

We’d also suggest you go for an ATOL-protected holiday, and take with you the contact details for the British Embassy and the local authorities.

The world can be a scary place sometimes – so really, you have to make your own mind up on whether or not Turkey is somewhere you want to visit.

Follow your gut when it comes to these things. Certainly don’t travel anywhere with your kids if you don’t feel comfortable doing so.

Finally, everything from the FCO we’ve quoted here is correct as of 27 April 2018. If there are any major changes, we’ll update this post as soon as we can ?

Share your Turkish holiday story

We’d love to hear from you if you’ve ventured to Turkey with your family in the last couple of years. Which area did you visit – and did you feel safe while you were there?

Please do let us know in the comments, on Facebook or Instagram.

Image: Getty Images, FCO website

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