Turkey coup attempt: UK Foreign Office relaxes travel advice

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Media caption,

Why did the coup in Turkey fail?

The UK Foreign Office has relaxed its travel advice for Britons visiting Turkey following a failed coup.

The situation in Turkey "appears to be calming", it said, but visitors should still avoid public places in Ankara and Istanbul, particularly demonstrations.

Coastal resorts do not appear to be significantly affected at present - but visitors should be vigilant, it said.

Britons had been advised to stay inside after a faction of the military tried to overthrow the government on Friday.

Some 265 people were killed in clashes between soldiers involved in the coup and supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

More than 6,000 people, including soldiers and judges, have been arrested, in what is being described by officials as a "clean-up operation".

Flights to and from the country are beginning to return to normal, but travellers are advised to check with their airline or tour operator before travelling, the Foreign Office added.

In the latest travel advice:

  • British Airways says it is flying a reduced schedule to Turkey on Sunday, but warned flights may be subject to delays
  • Thomas Cook is running flights as normal, but is offering free amendments and cancellations to customers due to travel on Sunday
  • Easyjet, Thomson, Turkish Airlines and Monarch say they are operating schedules as usual, whilst monitoring events
  • British nationals in Turkey can contact the Foreign Office on +44 207 008 0000
  • Foreign Office advice in full
Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Supporters of the Turkish President celebrated after the attempted coup

Passengers are advised to arrive at the airport earlier than normal to get through additional security checks in place.

While the Foreign Office says the security environment in Turkey remains "potentially volatile", resort areas have been relatively unaffected, according to the Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators.

'Quiet in the resorts'

Victoria Bacon, from the association, said reports from the ground were good.

"At this stage it does look calm. Certainly we're in contact with people in resorts and all of the feedback we've had is that actually things are very quiet in the resort areas," she said.

"But... the Foreign Office says keep vigilant so you should keep vigilant. And also just keep in contact with Foreign Office advice, with your tour reps - just keep informed."

Image caption,
Louise McMillan, from Northern Ireland, heard helicopters and jets overhead during her holiday

Britons in Turkey have described hearing gunfire and explosions during the attempted coup.

Mike Baddeley, who is in Marmaris, said he was woken on Friday night by "a very large explosion, followed by, it seemed like one or two helicopters flying above our heads... with machine gun fire".

Louise McMillan said she was relieved to be back home in Northern Ireland on Sunday. She heard helicopters and jets overhead during her holiday, but she had to rely on reports from home to find out what was happening.

"It scared the life out of us, but you've just got to get on and hope for the best", she said.