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Turkey 2017 Crime & Safety Report: Adana

Europe > Turkey; Europe > Turkey > Adana

Overall Crime and Safety Situation

U.S. Consulate Adana does not assume responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the persons or firms appearing in this report. The American Citizen Services Unit cannot recommend a particular individual or location and assumes no responsibility for the quality of service provided.

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ASSESSED ADANA AS BEING A LOW-THREAT LOCATION FOR CRIME DIRECTED AT OR AFFECTING OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS.

Please review OSAC’s Turkey-specific webpage for proprietary analytic reports, Consular Messages, and contact information.

Crime Threats

Prostitution, narcotics, muggings, and other petty crimes do occur. Crimes of opportunity (pickpocketing, purse snatching) may occur more frequently; however, random violent crime is rare.

Other Areas of Concern

Official Americans are restricted from the following neighborhoods: Sakirpasa, Gulbahcesi, Daglioglu, Barbaros, Anadolu, and Ondokuzmayis.

U.S. government employees are also subject to travel restrictions and require advance approval prior to official travel to the southeast provinces of Şirnak, Diyarbakir, Van, Siirt, Muş, Mardin, Batman, Bingöl, Tunceli, Hakkari, Bitlis, Elaziğ, Gaziantep, Antakya, Şanliurfa, and Kilis. Unofficial travel to these provinces is not permitted. In particular, Diyarbakir, Mardin, Şirnak, and Hakkari have seen continued violence associated with the Turkish/Kurdish unrest. Violence in these areas has resulted in the deaths of many security personnel, terrorists, and civilians. U.S. military and Department of Defense civilians have additional restrictions and should consult their local area commander to obtain the latest travel guidance.

Mount Ararat, in Ağrı province, and areas that are immediately adjacent to the Syrian and Iraq borders are considered special military zones, and permission for access must be obtained from the Turkish government through a Turkish Embassy/Consulate before coming to Turkey. U.S. citizens traveling in southeastern Turkey, as well as to Mt. Ararat, should exercise extreme caution.

Transportation-Safety Situation

Road Safety and Road Conditions

Throughout 2016, Adana, and other cities throughout the southeast, have seen significant road construction projects for some of its major thoroughfares. Though construction often is completed quickly, traffic disruptions can be abundant, as projects affect large areas, constraining road usage.

Generally, road conditions are good, especially in major arteries and thoroughfares. However, smaller streets in neighborhoods and in rural areas can be neglected. Driving at night or in inclement weather can be particularly challenging.

Traffic and the threat of accidents provide a daily challenge, and traffic fatalities are high nationwide. Drivers are aggressive and frequently ignore basic traffic regulations by driving through red lights and stop signs or by turning left from the far right lane.

Pedestrians also flaunt traffic rules by crossing against the light and walking in the street. Sidewalks and driveways are often blocked by parked vehicles. Pedestrians do not have the right-of-way, and extreme caution should be exercised when crossing all streets.

Public Transportation Conditions

Adana’s rail mass transit system is not extensive and not widely used by visitors.

Municipal buses and private dolmuş minibuses cover most of the city but can be hard to navigate without some level of Turkish.

Taxis are plentiful, and the majority of drivers are honest. Only utilize taxis with meters, sit in the back seat, and use the seat belt when present. Do not accept food/ drink from the driver and record the license or number of any taxi you enter.

Aviation/Airport Conditions

Security at Adana’s international airport is generally satisfactory. Throughout 2016, Adana airport and other regional airports experienced shifting levels of security, to include at times the presence of Turkish National Police, Gendarme forces, and extra private security at screening points. Additionally, after the attempted coup in July 2016, secondary identification checks of passengers were conducted by Turkish government officials in many Turkish airports.

Private Turkish security and other air-operations-related firms generally handle person/luggage screening. The Turkish National Police Immigration Department processes passengers who enter/exit Turkey via international airports. In addition, the Customs Department randomly inspects luggage and other personal items.

Terrorism Threat

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ASSESSED ADANA AS BEING A CRITICAL-THREAT LOCATION FOR TERRORIST ACTIVITY DIRECTED AT OR AFFECTING OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS.

Local, Regional, and International Terrorism Threats/Concerns

The conflict in Syria and the renewed hostilities between Kurdish terrorists and Turkish security forces in Kurdish-majority provinces of the southeast continue to be of concern to the overall stability in the southern provinces. Notably, in 2016, there were reported incidents of direct terrorist attack and indirect fire (either intentional or not) throughout the southeast. 

Numerous incidents can be counted via reports in Turkish media outlets and have been steadily reported from 2015 through 2016. The most deadly incidents in the southeast include a suicide bombing in the Şanlıurfa province city of Suruç on July 20, 2015, killing 33 people, and a suicide bombing at a Kurdish wedding in Gaziantep on August 20, 2016, that killed more than 50 people and injured dozens more. Several other notable, but less deadly, attacks include a November 24, 2016, vehicle borne IED detonated in front of Adana’s governor’s office and a January 10, 2017, attack on police headquarters in Gaziantep.

Several other incidents throughout southeast Turkey -- including law enforcement action against alleged terrorist organizations in Adana, Diyabakir, and Gaziantep, and terrorist acts against law enforcement and security forces -- have claimed the lives of dozens. 

Towns and crossings on the Turkish-Syrian border are areas of concern, and cross-border indirect fire has raised concern in Kilis and Hatay provinces. There have also been reports of small arms fire across the border from Syria into Kilis and Gaziantep. There have been media reports of ISIS and other extremists using southeastern Turkey as a safe area to funnel recruits across the border and to bring wounded for medical treatment.

Turkish security forces can be seen in news reports taking action to disrupt potential terrorist plots and taking action against potential supporters of terrorist activity.

Anti-American/Anti-Western Sentiment

Since the July 2016 failed coup, several media outlets have pursued anti-American rhetoric containing conspiratorial undertones suggesting that the U.S. was responsible for bringing increased political instability to Turkey. However, this anti-American sentiment has not manifested to violent demonstrations and/or targeting of U.S. private sector interests. Most anti-American sentiment expressed in the media is fueled by two key issues: Turkey’s request to extradite alleged coup leader Fethullah Gülen from the U.S. and the U.S.’s assistance to Kurdish groups in Syria within the context of counter-ISIS operations that are viewed by Turkey to be closely aligned with the PKK. Continuation of anti-American sentiment reflective of these two issues will likely depend largely on the Trump administration’s willingness to depart from the policies of the Obama administration.

Political, Economic, Religious, and Ethnic Violence

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ASSESSED ADANA AS BEING A HIGH-THREAT LOCATION FOR POLITICAL VIOLENCE DIRECTED AT OR AFFECTING OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS.

Turkey will hold a referendum considering constitutional amendments that would change the country’s system of government from parliamentary system to a presidential system and vastly expand the powers of the president. That referendum will take place on April 16, 2017, and violent protests remain a possibility.

Civil Unrest

Turkey’s political stability was challenged during a failed coup on July 15, 2016. The coup was short-lived despite its significant casualty count. Although Turks are polarized between those who support the ruling Justice & Development Party (AKP) founded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his opposition, civilian resistance during the failed coup demonstrated the populace remains intent on having a civilian government. This, combined with the fact that all combat arms units of the Turkish military were moved from major urban areas following the coup attempt, leads to the conclusion that coups are unlikely in the foreseeable future. In the wake of the 2016 attempt, several thousand members of the military and police services have been purged, and their ranks continue to be purged. Nonetheless, Turkish security forces maintain robust capabilities, especially in the realm of counterterrorism.

2016 also saw an increase in tensions between Kurdish demonstrators and Turkish security forces that led to several incidents of protests and violence throughout southeast Turkey. Adana has seen its share of incidents, including demonstrations that have resulted in conflicts between protestors and the Turkish National Police (TNP).

Following the 2013 Gezi Park riots in Istanbul, the government of Turkey enacted legislation to inflict harsher punishments for illegal/violent protests. For example, covering one’s face during a protest can result in a prison sentence of up to 25 years. Since the failed coup, Turkey has been under a state of emergency, giving security forces greater powers of arrest, to include being able to hold someone without charge for up to 30 days.

Religious/Ethnic Violence

Turkey remains tolerant of its religious and ethnic minorities and provides increased levels of security support around non-Sunni Islamic places of worship (churches, synagogues, Alevi mosques), as these locations are of concern related to ISIS operations. Especially in the immediate aftermath of an attack by Kurdish terrorist groups, widespread ultra-nationalist sentiment have manifested in violent attacks against Kurdish businesses, restaurants, and/or enclaves.

Post-specific Concerns

Environmental Hazards

Adana sits on the North Anatolian fault line and is very susceptible to earthquakes. Most buildings, particularly those built prior to the 1999 Izmit earthquake, do not comply with Western earthquake standards and would likely sustain heavy damage in a significant quake. Travelers are encouraged to consider this threat when identifying office/residential property. Earthquake preparedness should be incorporated into emergency planning.

Personal Identity Concerns

In general, Turkish men are respectful toward women; however, incidents of domestic violence (physical/mental abuse) are reported and seen in news media. Foreign women may be verbally harassed, stared at, pinched, or followed. Often, a man’s insistent advances are the result of cultural misinterpretations of behavior.  Some Turkish men might interpret smiling or friendliness as an invitation, so it is best to keep interactions with unfamiliar men as formal as possible and avoid eye contact with men on the street.

Though standing-out as a Westerner in Adana is a possibility, women and men often dress in Western fashion. During the summer, it is not uncommon to see women wearing shorts and dresses and men in shorts and sandals.

Kidnapping Threat

In recent years, there have been kidnappings in Turkey that are either politically- or criminally-motivated and involve Turkish politicians/citizens. While there has been no reported kidnapping of Westerners from Turkey, the presence of ISIS and other extremist groups is a concern.

Police Response

Turkish law dictates behavior toward Turkish political figures and institutions, particularly the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. It is a crime to insult or to deface statues and images of Ataturk or the Turkish flag, including its use on clothing. Authorities enforce these laws vigorously. Citizens will take offense at any perceived criticism or show of disrespect toward Ataturk. In addition, insults in social media or otherwise against political figures are increasingly prosecuted.

How to Handle Incidents of Police Detention or Harassment

If you are an American citizen and are detained or harassed by the police, contact American Citizen Services at +90(322)455-4100 or via email at acsadana@state.gov.

Crime Victim Assistance

The Turkish National Police is a professional police force and is responsive to crimes committed against foreigners. If American citizen becomes the victim of a crime while in Adana, contact the local police (155) and the U.S. Consulate (+90(322)455-4100). The Consulate can:

Replace a stolen passport;

Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes;

Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, contact family members/friends; and

Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys.

Police/Security Agencies

Turkish National Police (TNP) is one of the largest public sector organizations in the country. The TNP is the leading law enforcement organization and prides itself on providing professional police and security services to the general public. 

The Gendarme is a paramilitary police force that provides law enforcement services outside of major cities and in rural areas.

Medical Emergencies

Contact Information for Available Medical Services

In the event of a medical emergency, dial 112 for emergency medical ambulance service. Most emergency rooms in Adana have physicians who speak English.

Available Air Ambulance Services

Private air ambulance services are available in Turkey.

Insurance Guidance

Travelers should ensure they have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

Country-specific Vaccination and Health Guidance

In Adana and some other cities throughout the southeast, air quality during the winter can become extremely poor due to the burning of coal, wood, and other materials for home heating.

The CDC offers additional information on vaccines and health guidance for Turkey.

OSAC Country Council Information

There is currently no active Country Council in Adana. Please contact OSAC’s Europe team if you are interested in private-sector engagement in Turkey or have questions about OSAC’s Country Council programs.

The U.S. Embassy Branch Office Gaziantep frequently provides information forums and representational meetings for OSAC members in the Gaziantep community. In conjunction with Istanbul’s longstanding Country Council, and U.S. Embassy Ankara, Embassy Branch Office security personnel are working to continue outreach to the OSAC community. To be added to the Council’s electronic mailing list, please create an account at https://www.osac.gov/pages/Home.aspx.

U.S. Consulate Location and Contact Information

Consulate Address and Hours of Operation

Girne Bulvari No:212 Guzelevler Mah.
 Yuregir, Adana – Turkiye 

Hours of Operation: 0800-1700, Mon-Fri. The Consulate is closed for all U.S. federal holidays and select Turkish holidays.

Consulate Contact Numbers

Switchboard: +90 (322) 455-4100

RSO Desk: +90 (322) 455-4140

Website: http://adana.usconsulate.gov/

Nearby Posts

Embassy Ankara: https://tr.usembassy.gov/

Consulate General Istanbul: http://istanbul.usconsulate.gov/

Embassy Branch Office Gaziantep: http://turkey.usembassy.gov/

Consulate Guidance

Americans are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's STEP travel registration website at https://travelregistration.state.gov.  Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in the case of an emergency.  In addition, all travelers should read the Consular Information Sheet for the latest information pertaining to Turkey and the security environment.

Additional Resources

Turkey Country Information Sheet