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Memo: Travel Safety & Turkey

June 29, 2016

To all MSU Travelers,

The Office of International Health and Safety (OIHS) and the Office of Study Abroad (OSA) are closely monitoring the results of the terrorist attacks at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey on June 28, 2016. We offer our sincere condolences to the people of Turkey at this challenging moment. MSU has confirmed the safety and well-being of all registered travelers in Turkey. At this time, there are no current Study Abroad programs in Turkey. 

Students wishing to travel to Turkey on an MSU trip that is outside of a study abroad program or a non-credit bearing trip should contact OIHS to discuss the required review process that must be followed before the travel may be formally evaluated by the Risk and Security Assessment Committee (RSAC). 

Faculty and staff wishing to travel to Turkey on an MSU sponsored trip should review the security messages below from the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul. Emergencies should be reported to the MSU 24/7 International Emergency Assistance Line at +1-517-353-3784. 

Sincerely,

Christopher C. Daniel, MA, CEM
Director, International Health and Safety

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U.S. Consulate General Istanbul Emergency Message: Explosion and Casualties reported at Istanbul Ataturk International Airport - June 28, 2016

Explosions and gunfire have been reported at Istanbul Ataturk International Airport.  Multiple casualties and wounded have also been reported.  U.S citizens are advised to avoid the area.  We strongly urge U.S. citizens in Turkey to directly contact concerned family members in the United States to advise them of your safety.

Review your personal security and communication plans, remain aware of your surroundings including local events, and monitor local news media for updates.  Maintain a high level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security, and follow the instructions of local authorities. 

Government authorities and officials of Turkish Airlines, the national carrier, on 29 June reported that air traffic has resumed at the commercial capital Istanbul (Istanbul province)'s Ataturk Airport (IST) following a coordinated suicide bomb and gun attack at the facility's international terminal on the previous day, which killed at least 36 people and injured 147 others. On-the-ground sources confirmed that while a few low-cost domestic airlines are operating as usual, the majority of international airlines have cancelled flights to and from the airport.

 Heavy traffic congestion has been reported along highways that lead to Ataturk airport; journeys to and from the facility should therefore be expected to take longer than usual. Members due to travel to and from Istanbul should contact their airlines or visit the airport's website for information on the status of flights. Travelers that do not have scheduled flights should avoid the vicinity of the airport as cleanup operations continue.  

For further detailed information regarding Turkey and travel:

U.S. Consulate General Istanbul Security Message: Current Situation at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport - June 29, 2016

Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport has reopened following the June 28 terrorist attack.  Some flights have been delayed or cancelled.  For additional information on flight schedules, rebooking flights, and transiting Istanbul, please contact your airline directly and monitor information on the Ataturk Airport webpage

U.S. citizens are urged to:

  • Check local media for the latest updates. 
  • Be aware of local events.
  • Follow local authorities’ instructions.
  • Take the appropriate steps to bolster your personal security.

In this context, U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance in public and residential areas, and tourist destinations.  Specific safety concerns should be addressed to Turkish law enforcement authorities who have responsibility for the safety and security of all visitors to Turkey.

U.S. citizens who are in need of emergency consular assistance in Istanbul and surrounding provinces should call the U.S. Consulate General Istanbul at (90) 212-335-9000.

For further detailed information regarding Turkey and travel: