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Is It Safe To Travel To Turkey? Latest Travel And Holiday Advice Following Syria Air Strikes

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THE POPULAR tourist destination of Turkey has seen a slump in visitor numbers after a number of attacks blighted the country throughout 2016 and into 2017.

While those were a while ago now, the Syria situation means there are still concerns – so is it now safe for holidaymakers to travel to the country?

Getty Images The popular tourist destination of Turkey has seen a slump in visitor numbers following a number of terror attacks

What is the situation now and is it safe to travel?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all travel to within 10km of Turkey’s border with Syria, and to the large Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, which has been rocked by violence.

It also warns against all but essential travel to anywhere in the southern areas of Sirnak, Mardin, Diyarbakir, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Kilis and Hatay, Siirt and Haakari – and the more central Tunceli.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office The FCO advises against all travel to the Turkey-Syria border

According to the FCO, there is a high threat from terrorism, with heightened risk against British nationals – they advise travellers to remain vigilant.

They say on their website: “Most terrorist attacks have taken place in the south and east of the country and in Ankara and Istanbul. Attacks are most likely to target the Turkish state, civilians and demonstrations.

“Nevertheless, it’s likely that some attacks will also target western interests and tourists from western countries, particularly in the major cities.

Getty Images The country has long fought Kurdish militants in its restive east

There is also a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation but direct flights continue to depart to the UK from Turkey.

Most of the terrorist attacks have occurred in the south and east of the country and in Ankara and Instanbul, and attackers are more likely to target the Turkish state, civilians and demonstrations.

However, it says it is generally safe to travel to Turkey, as long as you remain alert to your surroundings and vigilant in crowded place, and stay well away from political demonstrations.

Getty – Contributor At least 70 people, including children, died following a chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta last week

What is the situation in Syria?

Tensions between the US and Russia have been approaching breaking point for some time as the crisis in Syria puts the middle east on a war footing.

With both sides refusing to back down, here’s what’s happened since a devastating chemical attack in Syria sparked outrage.

The fighting talk escalated between the old rivals, as both continued to threaten retaliation after another chemical attack in Syria.

At least 60 civilians were killed after “poisonous chlorine gas” unfolded in the besieged town of Douma on April 7.

Travel

Family Horrified To Find Dead Rat In Their Suitcase After American Airlines Lost It For Five Days

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A FAMILY have spoken of their horror at discovering a rat in their suitcase after they lost it on an American Airlines flight.

Merry Cannon, 36, was excited to be joining her husband on a business trip to Germany and France from Arkansas with their two young children aged one and five on March 5.

Merry Stuhlsatz Cannon / Facebook An American family discovered this rat in their suitcase after it was lost on an American Airlines flight

Unfortunately, their holiday had gotten off to a bumpy start, as their flight from Fayetteville was cancelled due to a broken windshield and they then they missed their connecting flight in Chicago.

On arrival in Chicago, they were called to report to the American Airlines customer service desk where they were told their seats “had been given up”.

It took hours to get rebooked, and they didn’t fly out until 10pm the next day, so they had to skip the whole leg of the trip to Germany and fly into Brussels, rent a car and drive two hours to Lille, France.

But all of these inconveniences paled into insignificance when it came to getting hold of their luggage.

Merry Stuhlsatz Cannon / Facebook When Merry got home with the bag, it smelt so bad that she emptied the contents for washing outside

Merry told News.com.au: “They lost our luggage for five days. The night before we were leaving for London to return home, it was delivered at 10.30pm.

“By then it was comical and my husband joked that at least when we get home we won’t have all that laundry to do.”

Little did they know what extra surprise would be waiting for them inside the bag.

Merry added: “When we returned home in Arkansas I immediately went to the American Airlines customer assistance desk to report how awful my bag smelt. I actually told them that it smelt like something had died.”

She claims the staff member told her the smell may be from it getting wet while it sat for days on the runway.

“He thought it was mould, but even said it smelled far worse than that.”

Alamy The airline lost their bag for five days and only showed up the night before they were due to return home from London

She alleges she was told to go and wash the bag and its contents to see if would come clean, then file a claim through the airline’s baggage claim department, ensuring nothing was thrown away as it would need to be sent to the airline.

Merry said: “When we returned home, we took the bag to our back porch because the smell was so horrendous.

“I washed one load three times in bleach, vinegar, OxiClean and Tide and finally decided whatever was on them would not come clean.

“I placed all those clothes in [rubbish] bags. I grabbed more clothes in hopes that maybe the bottom of the bag didn’t get wet, so they would come clean.
“When I grabbed the clothes is when I saw the rat. I have never screamed and cried so much in my life and I ran inside and began scrubbing my hands and arms.

“I had touched the things in this bag because American Airlines told me to just wash everything.”

AP:Associated Press Merry alleges American Airlines told her to go and wash the bag and its contents to see if would come clean

Merry called the airline and claims she was simply told to write everything down and her claim would be expedited in two to three days.

She refused to touch the items anymore and the staff member agreed and said they would handle it.

Later that day, she contacted the US Department of Health for advice seeing as the items were brought inside her house.

Merry said: “For three minutes the health inspector just repeated, ‘OMG. This is horrible. I don’t even know that to say’.

“Finally when I asked if the rat needed to be tested he said that because we don’t even know what country the rat is from, they wouldn’t even know where to start.

“I then asked if I should be concerned and he said, ‘The biggest concern would be the plague’  – that never even entered my mind.”

The other main concern was fleas, as rats always carry fleas which carry disease.

Alamy After she discovered the rat, Merry called the airline and claims she was simply told to write everything down and her claim would be expedited in two to three days

After that conversation, Merry contacted the airline again to confirm her bag would be dropped off and that she would be compensated for it all. They agreed.

It took four hours to fill out the paperwork the airline required to deal with her case.

A week later, she claims that she called them again and left message after message.

She said: “Finally they told me that they would give me $1,600 (£1,146), which is the maximum international payout. My bag and its belongings totalled $3,217 (£2,304).

“The whole trip with American Airlines was a bit of a nightmare and the rat in the bag was, for lack of better words, the cherry on top.

“I along with my husband travel fairly often and I can honestly say this is the worst thing we have experienced.

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Dead Rat Found In Family’s Suitcase That Went Missing For Five Days After American Airlines Flight

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AN American family have spoken of their horror at discovering a rat in their suitcase following an American Airlines flight.

Merry Cannon, 36, was excited to be joining her husband on a business trip to Germany and France from Arkansas with their two young children aged one and five on March 5.

Merry Stuhlsatz Cannon / Facebook An American family discovered this rat in their suitcase after it was lost on an American Airlines flight

Unfortunately, their holiday had gotten off to a bumpy start, as their flight from Fayetteville was cancelled due to a broken windshield and they then they missed their connecting flight in Chicago.

On arrival in Chicago, they were called to report to the American Airlines customer service desk where they were told their seats “had been given up”.

It took hours to get rebooked, and they didn’t fly out until 10pm the next day, so they had to skip the whole leg of the trip to Germany and fly into Brussels, rent a car and drive two hours to Lille, France.

But all of these inconveniences paled into insignificance when it came to getting hold of their luggage.

Merry Stuhlsatz Cannon / Facebook When Merry got home with the bag, it smelt so bad that she emptied the contents for washing outside

Merry told News.com.au: “They lost our luggage for five days. The night before we were leaving for London to return home, it was delivered at 10.30pm.

“By then it was comical and my husband joked that at least when we get home we won’t have all that laundry to do.”

Little did they know what extra surprise would be waiting for them inside the bag.

Merry added: “When we returned home in Arkansas I immediately went to the American Airlines customer assistance desk to report how awful my bag smelt. I actually told them that it smelt like something had died.”

She claims the staff member told her the smell may be from it getting wet while it sat for days on the runway.

“He thought it was mould, but even said it smelled far worse than that.”

Alamy The airline lost their bag for five days and only showed up the night before they were due to return home from London

She alleges she was told to go and wash the bag and its contents to see if would come clean, then file a claim through the airline’s baggage claim department, ensuring nothing was thrown away as it would need to be sent to the airline.

Merry said: “When we returned home, we took the bag to our back porch because the smell was so horrendous.

“I washed one load three times in bleach, vinegar, OxiClean and Tide and finally decided whatever was on them would not come clean.

“I placed all those clothes in [rubbish] bags. I grabbed more clothes in hopes that maybe the bottom of the bag didn’t get wet, so they would come clean.
“When I grabbed the clothes is when I saw the rat. I have never screamed and cried so much in my life and I ran inside and began scrubbing my hands and arms.

“I had touched the things in this bag because American Airlines told me to just wash everything.”

AP:Associated Press Merry alleges American Airlines told her to go and wash the bag and its contents to see if would come clean

Merry  called the airline and claims she was simply told to write everything down and her claim would be expedited in two to three days.

She refused to touch the items anymore and the staff member agreed and said they would handle it.

Later that day, she contacted the US Department of Health for advice seeing as the items were brought inside her house.

Merry said: “For three minutes the health inspector just repeated, “OMG. This is horrible. I don’t even know that to say.

“Finally when I asked if the rat needed to be tested he said that because we don’t even know what country the rat is from, they wouldn’t even know where to start.

“I then asked if I should be concerned and he said, ‘The biggest concern would be the plague’  – that never even entered my mind.”

The other main concern was fleas, as rats always carry fleas which carry disease.

Alamy After she discovered the rat, Merry called the airline and claims she was simply told to write everything down and her claim would be expedited in two to three days

After that conversation, Merry contacted the airline again to confirm her bag would be dropped off and that she would be compensated for it all. They agreed.

It took four hours to fill out the paperwork the airline required to deal with her case.

A week later, she claims that she called them again and left message after message.

She said: “Finally they told me that they would give me $1,600 (£1,146), which is the maximum international payout. My bag and its belongings totalled $3,217 (£2,304).

“The whole trip with American Airlines was a bit of a nightmare and the rat in the bag was, for lack of better words, the cherry on top.

“I along with my husband travel fairly often and I can honestly say this is the worst thing we have experienced.

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This Is The Best Place To Hide If A Terrorist Attack Happens On Holiday

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IT is everyone’s worst nightmare to be caught up in a terrorist attack anywhere on the planet – but if you are far from home it could be even more terrifying.

The best place to hide in the unlikely but horrifying event has been identified by an expert – who reveals that it’s inside a jewellery shop.

Getty – Contributor Jewellery shops have high security measures in place and are one of the best places to head in a terrorist attack

Travel expert Lloyd Figgins told the Express: “Jewellers are good places to go to. You have to remember that they have CCTV, panic buttons, and shutters.

“If you were to go into one, they can just press a button and call the police.

“Tell them there is a terrorist attack out there and they need to get the shutters down.”

Terror attacks have happened in recent years in tourist destinations such as Paris, Barcelona and Berlin.

Getty – Contributor Several tourist cities have been the victim of terrorist attacks in recent years

The beach resort of Sousse in Tunisia suffered a terrorist attack in 2015 when a gunman stormed a beach, killing 30 British tourists.

Egypt is also classed as high-risk by the government.

Lloyd also recommends taking shelter in a place of worship as they aren’t often targeted in Western holiday destinations.

Terrorism expert and Marine Corps veteran Drew Dyer has also shared tips on how to travel safely when on holiday.

He told Sofrep.com where the best place to stay in a hotel is in case of emergency.

Getty – Contributor The top floor of a hotel does not allow for any manoeuvre room, according to an ex-CIA agent

One of the most important tips was that guests should always request that their room is on neither the ground floor nor the top floor when booking a hotel.

Drew said: “The ground floor is readily accessible to intruders and the top floor does not allow any manoeuvre room.

“The first or second floors allow access for most third world country emergency vehicles.”

Drew also advises that guests should request a copy of the fire escape plan, usually found on the backs of hotel room doors, as soon as they check in.

Terrifying footage shows Tunisian terrorist’s beach rampage

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