Turkey on lockdown; travellers advised to carry passports at all times

Turkey on lockdown; travellers advised to carry passports at all times

ISTANBUL — Turkey’s president rallied supporters at a mosque on Friday as his government announced new details about the state of emergency imposed after an attempted coup. The state of emergency means the government will be able to enforce curfews and have greater powers of arrest.

Turkey’s parliament on Thursday approved the three-month state of emergency, which gives President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers. He has said the state of emergency will counter threats to Turkish democracy, though critics are urging restraint because they fear the measure will violate basic freedoms.

The Turkish government has already imposed a crackdown that has included mass arrests, mass firings and closing hundreds of schools allegedly linked to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, the alleged director of the uprising.

The government says 246 pro-government people – forces and civilians – died during the attempted coup, and at least 24 coup plotters were also killed.

In response to the state of emergency, the Turkish Ministry of Culture & Tourism released the following statement: “The state of emergency, which has been effective across Turkey as of July 21, 2016 for three months, consists of a package of measures to be applied within the framework of constitutional rules. This package bringing some security measures are put into force in order for Turkish state to combat the threat directed against citizens’ rights and freedoms.”

The statement went on to say that the package will not limit fundamental rights and freedoms. “The security measures will not affect the daily life of Turkish citizens, visitors’ travel to Turkey and their vacation. The measures will not impose any limit on international travel movements and airline traffic. Our guests can confidently have a secure vacation in all of our destinations and there is no negative situation for this.”

Turkish Airlines also corroborated this statement, saying that the state of emergency is a “precautious action to protect the country from all possible threats, maintain all democratic rights and the continuation of all basic rights and freedoms.”

In due course, All Turkish Airlines operations and flights are proceeding uninterrupted and will continue to do so.

During the state of emergency, all visitors to Turkey are being advised to carry their passport and a printed copy of e-visas at all times, reports TravelMole. Other than that, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office says the state of emergency “isn’t expected to affect tourists” and that coastal resorts “don’t appear to be significantly affected at present.”

With file from The Canadian Press.