British travellers currently in Turkey near the site of the recent devastating earthquakes have been urged to contact family and friends.
The UK’s Foreign Office (FCDO) has advised those visiting to assure loved ones back home that they’re safe.
“If you are in Turkey or planning to travel there you should follow the information and advice from local authorities/your tour operator,” reads the updated FCDO guidance.
“If you’re in the Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras or neighbouring provinces and it is safe to do so, contact your friends and family to tell them you are safe.”
More than 5,000 people have been killed in the twin earthquakes that struck southern Turkey and northern Syria on Monday 6 February, with more than 15,000 reportedly injured. A third
The initial 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the southeastern city of Gaziantep at 4.17am local time.
Turkey’s emergency authorities then reported a second, 7.5 magnitude earthquake in the town of Ekinozu at 1.24pm local time.
An FCDO spokesperson said: “The government is in contact with British humanitarian workers in the affected areas, and we stand ready to provide support to any British nationals affected.”
British travellers in Turkey in need of urgent help have been advised to call +90 312 455 3344.
Those in the UK concerned about relatives or friends in Turkey should call the FCDO in London on 020 7008 5000.
The locations of the earthquakes lie a sizeable distance from Turkey’s main tourism hubs. Gaziantep is 823km east of the southern port of Antalya and 1,139km southeast of the city of Istanbul.
Hugh Fraser, the founder of Turkey specialist Corinthian Travel, told The Independent: “Southeastern Turkey and the area around Gaziantep have many spectacular attractions, and are noted for their regional cuisine, but has traditionally been the preserve of the second or third-time cultural visitors to Turkey.
“The earthquake is a human tragedy but is unlikely to have much impact on Turkey’s major centres of tourism: Istanbul, Cappadocia, and the Aegean Coast – all of which are located hundreds of miles away to the west.”
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