Are there time limits to claim compensation in Turkey?
Holidaymakers should seek advice at an early stage to ensure they have enough time to pursue a claim. Depending on the circumstances of the injury or illness, time limits (or limitation dates) for making a compensation claim following an accident or illness in Turkey vary.
|Circumstances of injury or illness||Limitation date*|
|On a flight, in a hotel, or during a pre-booked trip that was booked through a UK-based package holiday company||3 years|
|During a holiday that was not booked through a UK-based tour operator||2 years (see the claim time limit calculator for more information)|
|On a flight that was not booked through a UK tour operator (e.g. booked online) to or from Turkish airports including:
*Calculate how long you have to make an injury claim here or contact Quittance for more information.
Our network of solicitors do not currently have the capacity to take on holiday-related injury and sickness claims outside the UK. It is recommended that you contact a personal injury specialist solicitor to discuss your options as soon as possible, as some jurisdictions have limitation dates of less than the three year limit that is standard in the UK.
Who should I contact in an emergency incident in Turkey?
In Turkey, four phone numbers are used to contact the various emergency services.
Anyone requiring an ambulance (ambulans) should phone 112 to reach the Turkish ambulance services. The FCO report that response times may be very slow and it may be wiser to take a taxi rather than rely on ambulance transportation.
To report an accident or criminal assault to the police call 155. The Turkish National Police have 834 police stations in 81 Provinces and their police officers can be identified by their navy-blue uniforms and caps. Patrol cars have a unique blue-white design and the writing "Polis" on the side doors and roof.
For incidents at sea, the Turkish coastguard may be called on 158, and in case of fire call 110.
Obtaining medical treatment following an accident
As the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is not valid in Turkey, it is vital to ensure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
For mild gastric upsets, sunburn or minor cuts and aches and pains you may want to visit a chemist ("eczane") to buy medication. Chemists stock most medicine and each outlet is staffed with trained pharmacists or one or more supervisors and an assistant supervisor. They are able to sell most drugs without a prescription; however some drugs are restricted with a "green and red" system that does require a prescription.
If a health condition is more serious, holidaymakers staying in hotels or as part of an organised tour should be able to access a doctor via their tour rep or the hotel reception. Many city-based doctors speak good English, however they are likely to charge high fees for their services and Turkey does not have a national health service.
Travel insurers stipulate that they be contacted in the event of injury or illness, as many insurance companies have preferred local healthcare providers.
Information on local medical emergency services is also available at the local police stations.
Holidaymakers involved in a serious accident may be taken to the acil servis (A&E department at a local hospital). Turkey has a wide range of hastanesi (hospital) both state-run and private.
What to do if you have been injured in an accident in Turkey
Even if you are unsure about whether you will make a claim when you return home, it is advisable to do as much as you can (as soon as your health and circumstances allow) to keep your options open and to strengthen a potential injury claim.
Following these steps can give your claim a better chance of success.
- Report the accident or illness to your tour company representative and to the relevant authorities where appropriate
- Gather evidence
- Gather witness statements and witness's contact information
- Contact your travel insurance provider as soon as possible
Read more about accident and illness holiday claims generally here.
Turkey package holiday injury claims
The Package Tours Regulations 1992 enable British visitors to Turkey who have been injured during their holiday to make a claim through the Courts in England and Wales, provided that the holiday was booked through a UK-based tour operator.
Package tour operators in Turkey
Most of the major UK holiday companies operate package holidays to the popular Turkish resorts in the Dalaman, Izmir, Antalya and Bodrum areas. Tour operators include Thomas Cook and Airtours, Thomson and Skytours, Neilson and Monarch Holidays.
Each company should have a representative at the resort in Turkey to whom injury or illness can be reported. However, if the representative is not available a report should be made to the operator's UK head office.
Some of the most popular Turkish hotels and resorts being promoted in 2016 by tour operators are listed below (information is provided for information purposes):
- Sengimar Marmaris Imperial, Marmaris
- Hotel Belcekiz Beach, Olu Deniz
- Paloma Club Sultan, Izmir
- Hotel Holiday Calbis, Dalyan
- Family Life Tropical Resort, Sarigeme
- Royal Dragon Hotel, Antalya
- Smartline Lion Hotel, Kusadasi
- La Blanche Island, Bodrum
- Sentido Flora Garden, Side, Antalya
Holiday food poisoning and water-borne illness in Turkey
Travellers' diarrhoea (TD) is a common illness for those who travel from developed Western countries to lower income countries including Turkey - where holidaymakers face a 1 in 5 chance of contracting TD. Of the 10 most popular holiday destinations for UK travellers, Turkey had the highest incidence of gastrointestinal (GI) upset, according to the Health Protection Agency.
Although most cases of food poisoning end within a few days, some illnesses can last for much long and other problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), may develop as a result.
Adventure holiday accidents in Turkey
Tourism agents are keen to promote Turkey as a destination for water sports. Windsurfing is popular in the resorts around Izmir and Mugla, Bodrum; whilst some of the best places for kitesurfing include Mugla, Balikesir, Canakkale, Antalya, Izmir and Sinop.
Turkey also has plenty of rivers where holidaymakers can participate in white-water rafting, such as Coruh River, Dalaman River, Koprulu River, Firtina River, and Goksu River.
Marmaris, Fethiye, Kas and Antalya are among the main centres for scuba diving. Other popular activities include sea-kayaking and canoeing, as well as paragliding.
Even holidaymakers who plan to spend most of their time relaxing by the pool or on the beach may spontaneously try an adventure sport. These activities, however, may be both unregulated and not covered by travel insurance. Visitors are strongly advised to check their insurer's small print before engaging in any adventure sports.
Road traffic accidents in Turkey
Turkey's road traffic accident rate is high compared to the UK, with a road fatality rate of 13 deaths per 100,000.
A Global Status Report on Road Safety from the World Health Organisation (WHO) cites the reasons for the poor road safety record include inadequately enforced laws on speed, blood alcohol concentration, seat-belt wearing and helmet wearing.
In addition, there is inadequate provision of infrastructure for non-motorized modes of transport in Turkey. The country has been included on a list of 10 countries undertaking a 5-year project to strengthen road safety management.
All vehicles in Turkey must have at least third-party insurance. The procedure in the event of a road traffic accident in Turkey depends on the severity of the accident, whether there are injuries, and if it is necessary for the police to be involved.
The police must be contacted if drivers cannot come to an agreement on the circumstances and liability of the accident at the scene, and must also be contacted if the accident resulted in any injuries or death.
All parties involved in an accident must present their driving licence and vehicle registration documents to the police at the scene. All drivers involved in the accident will be breathalysed and the result of this test and the official police report of the accident are needed to make an insurance claim. Test results are usually available from the District Police Station within three days of the accident.
Do I need a Turkish lawyer to make a personal injury claim?
It may still be possible for a solicitor to pursue your claim through UK Courts if you have been injured in Turkey while on a package holiday. Non-package holiday claims may be more difficult to pursue, but if you believe you may have a claim, it is recommended that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Holiday injury claims for injuries sustained in Turkey can be complex and have a limitation date of 2 years.
What to do next
Whether you have been injured on a beach holiday in Marmaris, Bodrum, Olu Deniz or Kusadasi, or a city break in Istanbul or Ankara you may be entitled to claim compensation.
For more information, or to discuss your options with a specialist travel solicitor, contact Quittance on 0800 612 7456.
Useful contact details
British Embassy Ankara
Sehit Ersan Caddesi 46/A
Telephone (+90) 312 455 33 44
Opening hours Monday to Friday, 8:45am to 5pm (local time)
British Consulate General Istanbul
Mesrutiyet Caddesi No 34
Telephone (+90) 212 334 64 00
Opening hours Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:45pm (local time)
The British Embassy also provide consular services in Antalya, Bodrum, Marmaris, Izmir and Fethiye.