I’ve been to Istanbul a couple of times. One of my best friends got married there and another got engaged (to my sister) in Taksim Square (to a band playing Brown Eyed Girl on tram car he hired for the event). We never felt unsafe.
The events of recent days with a questionable coup attempt and President Erdogan consolidating power onto himself and his cadre of Islamic conservatives has vastly changed the landscape in Turkey. The Canadian government has issued an advisory warning Canadians to avoid all unnecessary travel to the country right now. (And to avoid all travel of any kind to the areas of the country that border with Syria.)
That puts Turkey in the red on the government’s threat map, in the company of nations such as Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, Nigeria, and Egypt.
The next threat level is indicated by the countries coloured dark orange on the map. Travellers to these destinations are warned to exercise a “high degree of caution.”
Travel advisory map [Click on the image to view a larger version on the federal government’s website]
This advisory extends to several traditionally popular travel spots for Canadians including:
Formerly safe and stable countries such as France and Belgium make the travel advisory list due to “the current elevated threat of terrorism.”
Caribbean destinations such as Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and the Bahamas are flagged because of “crime and violent crime.” Plus there is an additional advisory for Central and South America right now because of the threat of the Zika virus.
Even without political unrest or terrorism, many areas of Mexico have a high level of threat warning for Canadian travelers right now. This includes the classic resort destination of Acapulco. The federal government’s travel website advises Canadians to exercise a high degree of caution due to “high levels of violence linked to organized crime.”
If you’ve got the travel bug and are looking for someplace safe to go, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, Finland and Fiji – among many other world destinations – are still considered to be low risk. Bermuda is also flagged as safe, but steer clear of that dreaded Triangle.
You can see the full list of safe, unsafe, and red flagged countries around the world as well as the latest travel advisories, updates, and advice from the federal government over at https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/.