Immigration Department follows up incident of Hong Kong residents seeking assistance in Turkey

18 July 2016

The Immigration Department (ImmD) has continued to follow up on the latest situation in Turkey through the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Chinese Embassy in Turkey (CE), the Consulates-General of the People's Republic of China in Istanbul and Izmir (CGs), the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong and relevant airlines.

As at 6pm today (July 18), the ImmD has received no new request for assistance. Regarding the previous 15 assistance requests involving 31 Hong Kong residents stranded in Istanbul, 24 of them have left Istanbul safely, either returning to Hong Kong or proceeding to other destinations to continue their journeys. The remaining seven Hong Kong residents temporarily chose to stay in Istanbul. The ImmD has reminded the assistance seekers in Turkey to attend to personal safety and provided them with the latest information, including the emergency contacts of the CE and CGs. The ImmD will continue to maintain close contact with them on providing assistance.

In addition, the ImmD had also previously received eight assistance requests involving 22 Hong Kong residents who were stranded in Antalya due to the re-directing of flights from Istanbul. Twenty out of the 22 Hong Kong residents have left Antalya to other destinations to continue their journeys. The remaining two will leave Antalya soon under the arrangement of the airlines.

The ImmD has also requested airlines to assist those Hong Kong residents stranded to leave as soon as possible. The ImmD has issued the relevant information to remind those who had registered with the "Registration for Outbound Travel Information" and are currently in Turkey or plan to travel to Turkey within one month to attend to personal safety. Hong Kong residents who intend to visit Turkey should adjust their travel plans and avoid non-essential travel, including leisure travel. Those already there should avoid going outdoors, monitor the situation, attend to personal safety, avoid protests and large gatherings of people and follow the directions of the local authorities. The ImmD will remain in close contact with the aforesaid authorities, assistance seekers and their families to monitor the latest situation and follow up on the incident.

Hong Kong residents in Turkey who need assistance may call the 24-hour hotline of the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit of the ImmD at (852) 1868 or contact the Chinese Embassy in Turkey consular protection hotline (90) 5388215530 or Consulate-General in Istanbul consular protection hotline (90) 5313389459 or Consulate-General in Izmir consular protection hotline (90) 5358802656.