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Travellers advised to be vigilant as Turkish flights get back to normal

By Catherine Wylie

Published 18/07/2016

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan prays at the funeral of his campaign manager Erol Olcak, who was killed along with his 16-year old son at the Bosphorus Bridge (AP)
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan prays at the funeral of his campaign manager Erol Olcak, who was killed along with his 16-year old son at the Bosphorus Bridge (AP)
A man stands in front of a tank at the entrance to Istanbul's Ataturk airport
Mourners pray in front the coffins of policemen killed during the attempted coup
Burnt out vehicles in Ankara

Flights to and from Turkey have started returning to normal after at least 265 people died in an attempted military coup.

Britons were advised to stay indoors in Ankara and Istanbul as unrest began to unfold on Friday night.

British Airways cancelled all flights to and from the country on Saturday, but the airline said flights are now taking off again.

The Foreign Office said the security situation in the country "remains potentially volatile", and advised people in Ankara and Istanbul to avoid public places, in particular demonstrations, and to remain vigilant.

It said coastal resorts do not appear significantly affected.

The UK's largest travel association, Abta, said the situation was "fluid", adding: "The vast majority of British travellers to Turkey will fly direct to beach resorts on Turkey's south coast which are hundreds of miles from Istanbul and the capital Ankara."

Abta estimates that there are currently 50,000 people on holiday with its members in Turkey, while the Foreign Office said more than 2.5 million British nationals visit Turkey every year.

On Sunday evening a British Airways spokeswoman said flights would be operating today.

Thomson and First Choice flights to Dalaman, Antalya, Izmir and Bodrum are as normal.

Airline easyJet flies from the UK to Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman and Ismir in Turkey.

"Current advice from the British authorities is to continue our flying programme. This will be under continuous review," it said.

On Saturday, Thomas Cook had been advising customers to "stay in their hotels until further notice", but a later statement from the company said its flight and holiday programme is operating as normal and customers are enjoying their holidays.

Advice on the Foreign Office website said: "The situation in Turkey appears to be calming following an attempted coup overnight on July 15-16. The security environment, however, remains potentially volatile.

"If you are in Turkey, please follow the advice of authorities, monitor travel advice and contact your airline or tour operator.

"In Ankara and Istanbul we advise you to avoid public places, in particular demonstrations, and remain vigilant. Take sensible precautions if you are in the vicinity of any military or security forces. Roadblocks are in place in some areas.

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