Flights Prohibited Between Turkey and the United States

T he surprise attempted coup conducted by a faction of the military in Turkey last night was unsuccessful; and one result of the fallout, all airline carriers — regardless of country of registry — are prohibited from flying between the United States and Turkey either directly or via a third country.

Update

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — who is the president of Turkey — arrived in Istanbul by airplane and declared that the government was in control of the country. He announced that Turkey has a democratically elected government and president and considers the coup attempt an act of treason. “We are in charge and we will continue exercising our powers until the end.”

The country plunged into chaos amidst a long night of violent clashes, which ultimately claimed the lives of at least 265 people — 104 of whom were involved in the plotting of the coup — and wounded a minimum of 1,440 people. 2,839 military officers have been detained; while greater than 200 soldiers turned themselves in to police in Ankara.

As peaceful demonstrations continued across the country, two majors, a captain and five privates of the Turkish military sought asylum in Greece after using a military helicopter to land near Alexandroupolis. They were arrested for illegal entering that country.

Allegations have been circulating in the media that the entire military coup was staged by the Erdoğan regime; but there is currently no definitive evidence of that claim.

This information was compiled from multiple sources and may change as new information is revealed.

Flights Prohibited Between Turkey and the United States

As per the notice to airmen issued from the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States dated Friday, July 15, 2016, airline carriers based in the United States are prohibited from flying to or from airports in Istanbul and Ankara; and all airline carriers — regardless of country of registry — are prohibited from flying into the United States from Turkey either directly or via a third country.

This official statement from the Embassy of the United States in Ankara, Turkey informs American citizens that routes to Istanbul Atatürk Airport are open but that there are still reports of sporadic gunfire. Security at that airport has significantly diminished due to multiple breaches resulting from the attempted military coup; and government employees of the United States have been instructed not to attempt to travel to and from Istanbul Atatürk Airport.

According to this alert issued by the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the Department of State of the United States, the situation in Turkey “remains fluid. As the situation in Turkey stabilizes, U.S. Embassy Ankara strongly encourages U.S. citizens to use extreme caution in leaving your residence or hotel to conduct essential errands or business. Due to the potential for rallies and the possibility of clashes, the U.S. Embassy advises you to conduct such activities during daylight hours.”

Citizens of the United States are advised to seek shelter in safe places; avoid unnecessary travel; and monitor media reports.

To provide the Embassy of the United States in Ankara, Turkey with information about an injured or missing American citizen who is in Turkey, you may:

  • Visit Task Force Alert and select 2016 Turkey Unrest
  • Contact the Department of State at TurkeyEmergencyUSC@state.gov
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries

Further Detailed Information Pertaining to Turkey and Travel

For further detailed information regarding Turkey and travel:

  • See the State Department’s travel Internet web site for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Turkey’s Country Specific Information
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency
  • Contact the United States Embassy in Ankara, located at 110 Ataturk Boulevard, Kavaklidere, 06100 Ankara, at +90-312-455-5555, 8:30 in the morning through 5:30 in the evening Monday through Friday; and the emergency number for American citizens after hours is +90-312-455-5555 or +90-212-335-9000, which is the telephone number of the United States Consulate General in Istanbul
  • Contact the United States Consulate General in Istanbul, located at 2 Uçsehitler Sokagi, 34460, Istinye, Sariyer, at +90-212-335-9000
  • Contact the United States Consulate in Adana, located at 212 Girne Bulvari, Guzelevler Mahallesi, Yuregir, Adana at +90-322-455-4100
  • Contact the Consular Agency in Izmir at Izmir@state.gov
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 in the morning through 8:00 in the evening Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday — except during federal holidays of the United States
  • Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the Department of State of the United States via Twitter and Facebook

Statement From Turkish Airlines

Upon a declaration that operations have returned to normal and flights have been resuming safely, the following statement was posted by Turkish Airlines at its official Twitter account:

Announcement from Turkish Airlines to our Valued Passengers and Dear Nation,

With the unflinching will of the people, Turkey has awakened to a new day with a much stronger sense of democracy and freedom.

Upon the call of our President H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan our operations at İstanbul Atatürk Airport are now back to normal and flights have begun.

As of the 16th of July by 14:30 (EEST) all our flight operations will resume as planned. Grateful to our Dear Nation, we extend our thanks to our passengers for their understanding for the inconvenience.

Detailed information regarding booking, delayed/canceled flights and current flight schedule is available on our website: www.turkisharilines.com

Transit passengers will be able to cancel and reschedule their flights at counters to be set up in hotels, to which representatives of Turkish Airlines will refer to avoid any inconvenience.

Summary

The justification of the advisory which was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States yesterday — as per a notice to airmen — will supposedly be re-evaluated by Monday, August 15, 2016. The exact date of when the prohibition will be lifted is unknown at this time

If your travel plans include Turkey during the next month, you might consider postponing them, if possible. The airline on which you intend to travel should permit you to alter your plans without penalty.

In the meantime, be sure to keep yourself updated by monitoring for new developments using the aforementioned links listed in this article.

I personally am not deterred from recent events and would consider traveling to Turkey.

Imagery ©2016 TerraMetrics. Map data ©2016 courtesy of Google Maps.

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