Being Careful

During the 1980s and ’90s, large parts of Turkey's east and southeast (but not the Black Sea area) were the scene of bitter fighting between the separatists of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Turkish security forces. The fighting has largely stopped, which has allowed tourism in the region to get off the ground again. Cities you’re likely to visit are now safe and have been for over a decade. There are still incidents, particularly near the Turkey–Iraq border and in such places like Hakkari and Şirnak. But these are remote areas where few tourists, let alone Turks, go, and the Turkish army will actively stop you from visiting any troubled areas. Recent conflicts in Syria may give visitors to places like Antakya and Gaziantep some alarm, but the border is a whole hour away from these cities, and even if you do venture closer, a lot of barbed wire and Turkish soldiers stand between you and the conflict.

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