France and Turkey – what to tell your clients?

The extraordinary recent events in Turkey and France have led the governments of both countries to declare and extend, respectively, a national state of emergency. This follows the terrorist attack in Nice, which claimed the lives of at least 84 people on July 14, and the attempted coup in Turkey the following day.

What do these states of emergency mean for for France and Turkey?

Euronews reported the following measures:

In France, the government says on its website that authorities can:

  • Put under house arrest any person whose activity is considered a threat to security and public order
  • Dissolve groups that take part in, incite or facilitate acts that pose a serious threat to public order
  • Restrict movement of people or traffic in certain areas (impose a curfew)
  • Ban people deemed to be a threat to public order from French territory
  • Carry out searches of property, luggage, vehicles, bags and pockets (without judicial warrants)
  • Break up protests, meetings and close places of congregation or worship.

In Turkey, the measures the state of emergency allows, include:

  • Searches of people’s body, vehicles and property
  • Curtailing right to assembly
  • Banning printing, copying, publishing and distribution of newspapers, magazines, books and leaflets
  • Examining all sorts of writing, image, film, disc, vocal and visual tapes and all sorts of vocal publication, registering or banning them if necessary
  • Censorship of plays and films
  • Closure of restaurants, clubs, bars, hotels, campsites, theatres…
  • Seizing control of businesses in sectors including energy, agriculture, health, retail, transportation…

Although South African travellers tend to be resilient in the face of disasters, the recent events are eroding their hardiness, according to a recent report in TNW. Tour operators report a spate of cancellations for Turkey from concerned travellers.

In light of the recent spate of attacks internationally, ASATA would like to advise South Africans travelling international to take extra care in public places. Be vigilant, follow the advice of local security authorities, monitor media reports and keep up to date with the FCO travel advice. It is advised to arrive at the airport well in time, as increased security measures can be expected.

Although the ROSA website is down until further notice, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation has further also advised that travellers register at the South African embassy when arriving at their destination.