New Zealanders in Turkey advised to stay at home

  • 16/07/2016
Turkish soldiers guard at Taksim Square in Istanbul (AAP)
Turkish soldiers guard at Taksim Square in Istanbul (AAP)

The situation remains fluid for 235 Kiwis registered as being in Turkey after a coup attempt there, New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says.

On Saturday MFAT increased its travel advisory for Turkey to high risk.

"We now advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to Turkey due to the uncertain security situation," MFAT said.

In an update MFAT said it had no immediate concerns for the New Zealanders there and was monitoring the situation closely.

Ataturk International airport in Istanbul is closed to inbound and outbound flights.

New Zealanders should contact their airline or travel agent for information about travel arrangements, including connecting flights, MFAT says.

"New Zealanders in Turkey are advised to stay in their home or accommodation, monitor the media to stay informed of developments, let their family in New Zealand know they're safe and well," a spokesman said.

They were also advised to register on the safetravel.govt.nz website.

The attempted Turkish military coup appeared to crumble in the early hours of Saturday after crowds answered President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's call to take to the streets to support him.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said earlier on Friday night that a group within Turkey's military had attempted to overthrow the government and security forces had been called in to "do what is necessary".

"Some people illegally undertook an illegal action outside of the chain of command," Yildirim said in comments broadcast by private channel NTV.

"The government elected by the people remains in charge. This government will only go when the people say so."

Those behind the attempted coup would pay the highest price, he said.

Before Friday's events, MFAT was already warning New Zealanders about the risks of travelling in Turkey, especially near the Syrian border.

Tourist sites in Istanbul and Ankara should be avoided because of the risk of terrorist attacks, the Safetravel website says.

NZN