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Be very cautious, Government urges Irish holidaymakers

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Pat Dawson, ITAA

Pat Dawson, ITAA

Pat Dawson, ITAA

Irish citizens are being warned to exercise "a high degree of caution" if travelling to Turkey following Tuesday's terrorist attack on Istanbul airport.

Despite the atrocity, when three suicide bombers - believed to be members of Islamic State (IS) - detonated bombs at the busy Ataturk Airport, the Department of Foreign Affairs has not upgraded its travel status alert.

It continues to "strongly advise" Irish citizens against travelling to the border areas between Turkey and Syria and Iraq because of the "current instability" in the region.

Irish travellers are also warned to remain vigilant in popular tourist areas of Istanbul as well as locations close to police and military installations.

No Irish citizens were among the dead or injured in the airport bombings, the department said.

Nervous

So far, 13 foreigners including five Saudis, two Iraqis and citizens from China, Tunisia, Iran, Jordan, Uzbekistan and the Ukraine have been confirmed in the death toll.

Tuesday's attack has left many Irish holidaymakers nervous, according to Pat Dawson of the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA).

Many Irish tour operators no longer fly to Turkey because of the persistent threat of terrorism, he said.

Those that continue to operate to largely beach resort areas were already feeling the pinch as people booked sun holidays elsewhere.

"The events in Istanbul certainly won't help the cause," Mr Dawson told the Herald.

Falcon Holidays, which operates package holidays to Turkey, did not respond to queries yesterday.

A spokeswoman for Sunway Holidays said that despite some nervous callers, there have been no Turkish holiday cancellations.

Turkish Airlines is operating normally, but offering refunds on flights up to next Tuesday.


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