Expats Ready To Flee Islamic State Advances

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Terror outrages and the advance of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq are making some expats in the region fear for their safety.

One flashpoint is the Turkish border between the north of Iraq, which is an area dominated by Turkish Kurds.

Many expats in southern areas of Turkey were drawing up plans to evacuate should the Islamic State advance across the border.

The Islamic State army has shelled the crossing with artillery in a bid to cut Kurdish supply lines bringing in fresh soldiers and equipment from Turkey.

Turkey has also seen fierce protests in many major cities both for and against the Kurds and the Islamic State.

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Some protests have seen police quell rioting with water cannon and CS gas, with expats getting caught in the crossfire.

British Consul in Istanbul Timothy Fisher said: “We keep the situation in Turkey under constant review, as does the government back in London.

“British expats and travellers need to keep aware of what is going on and plan their daily routines and movements accordingly. Despite the tension, Turkey is still a safe and accessible country for the millions of visitors who come here each year.”

Rape and robbery alert

Rape, robbery and violent crime are becoming a problem for expats and tourists in Peru as armed gangs in major cities prey on visitors.

The British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) warns against drawing cash from exposed ATMs and walking alone in quiet neighbourhoods, especially at night.

A particular problem is robbers holding up taxis to and from the Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport.

The FCO warns many bogus tax drivers operate around the airport and steal luggage and belongings, while spotters call ahead to armed gangs when they see a tourist taxi laden with luggage. The gang then holds up the taxi at gunpoint.

Rape is also a serious problem in the cities of Cusco and Arequipa. Women are warned to guard against date rape drugs in drinks and to only buy and keep an eye on their own drinks in bars and clubs.

Provincial buses are also key targets for robbers who look for tourists carrying credit cards, cash, and passports.

Strike disruption

Travelling to and through Belgium is likely to be severely disrupted in November and December due to strikes, political protests and other demonstrations in and around Brussels.

The protests are not thought to present a safety concern, but will affect and delay public transport and flights in and out of the capital.

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