The UK Foreign Office has issued travel advice to people flying to Turkey as school half-term nears, following the two devastating earthquakes which struck the country’s south-eastern area as well as neighbouring Syria.
On Monday (February 6) morning, strong aftershocks were felt across Turkey and as far away as Egypt following the first 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the city of Gaziantep. A second earthquake which measured 7.6 on the Richter scale followed hitting Turkey’s southern-eastern region of Kahramanmaraş at 1.25pm local time.
The death toll in Turkey and Syria has surpassed more than 9,500 people as of Wednesday (February 8) as people remain trapped in collapsed buildings on both sides of the border. The Turkish government has since declared a national emergency in the provinces affected by the earthquake.
The advice from the Foreign Office said: “The Turkish Government has stated that only vehicles which carry aid teams and aid materials will be allowed to enter cities deemed to be inside the area of the disaster. If you are in Turkey or planning to travel there you should follow the information and advice from local authorities/your tour operator.
“If you’re in the Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras or neighbouring provinces and it is safe to do so, contact your friends and family to tell them you are safe. If you require consular assistance, you should call our 24-hour helpline on +90 312 455 3344 and select the option for ‘consular services for British nationals,’ or send an enquiry via the web contact form.
People are also advised to check the entry requirements section for Turkey’s current entry restrictions and requirements as these may change with little warning.”
Turkish regions hit by earthquakes
According to the Turkish Government, there are 10 provinces that are affected by the earthquake and only vehicles with aid items and aid materials are allowed to enter the area of disaster.
The provinces are:
Is Atalya safe to travel after the earthquake?
Atalya, a popular holiday destination for the UK holidaymakers with many tour operators offering holidays in the region, is not affected by the disaster. The city is located approximately 370 miles away from ground zero, Gaziantep.