Messages for U.S. Citizens
Message for U.S. Citizens #3
October 2, 2009
Featured in this Summer 2009 issue:
- Greetings from Richard Appleton
- Thank You
- Social Security Administration Visit to Ankara
- Reminder-Update your Consulate Registration
- Turkey Bans Smoking in Restaurants
- Influenza A (H1N1) Information
- Federal Voting Assistance Program Newsletter
- Consular Services
- Upcoming Holidays and ACS Office Closures
- Our Contact Info
GREETINGS FROM ANKARA CG RICHARD APPLETON
Just a few words to everyone before this newsletter flies out the door. I am just in from Nairobi and am the new Consul General in Ankara. Like Sandy Shipshock, I will coordinate consular services at all our posts in Turkey. It is a wonderful opportunity to get to know Turkey and to make your acquaintance.
Over the next few months look for some improvement in the physical plant in Ankara to the benefit of all our customers. Upcoming too will be public sessions with representatives of U.S. Social Security and the IRS.
Please do not forget to register with us online at Travel Registration Site (https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui). In that way we can connect you and your loved ones in the USA in case of emergencies. Do update your address with the voting authorities back home … we have the post cards and the addresses you will need. Check your passports to make sure they are current … the replacements are very rapid here: mine took only a week. For those blessed with new baby American citizens, do not forget to get their passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad.
Lastly, do not be reluctant to contact me with your observations and concerns. I want to get to know you.
Consul General Ankara
Thank you to the volunteers who showed interest in becoming an Consulate warden. We are proud to be working with you all.
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION VISIT TO ANKARA
A representative from the Social Security Administration will be visiting Ankara on October 22, 2009 and will hold a meeting with local American citizens. He will be able to discuss general topics such as benefits, eligibilities, how to file, etc. If you are interested in attending this meeting please e-mail us at CAemail@example.com. Once we have an estimate of how many of you are interested in attending, we will let you know the specific time and location. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to meet with the SSA.
REMINDER - UPDATE YOUR CONSULATE REGISTRATION
It is really important that you keep your contact information current at the Consulate in order for us to assist you in case of a crisis situation. If you recently moved or have a new phone number, take a minute to update your information at the U.S. State Department’s travel registration site. To update your information or register for the first time, visit Travel Registration Site (https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui).
TURKEY BANS SMOKING IN BARS, CAFES AND RESTAURANTS
Good news for non-smokers – on July 19 2009, Turkey banned smoking in bars, cafes and restaurants, extending an existing ban on smoking in offices, public transportation, shopping malls, schools, hospitals and other public places. Under the new law, owners of bars and restaurants will first warn a customer who insists on lighting up, then refuse to serve him and finally call the police if all else fails. Non-compliance with the ban will result in a fine of 69 liras (Approximately 45 US dollars, 32 euros) for the smoker while the establishment itself will have to pay 560 liras for a first-time offence and up to 5,600 liras for repeat offences. Local authorities have recruited some 5,000 inspectors to check on premises and make sure that the ban is implemented. The ban does not apply to open air cafes and restaurants.
INFLUENZA A (H1N1) INFORMATION
The Turkish Ministry of Health reports that as of early September, there have been over 400 cases confirmed in Turkey, many in travelers entering the country from abroad. Local authorities are asking travelers entering Turkey to complete a form detailing their recent travel and health history. In addition, there is an active program at Turkish airports to screen passengers with flu symptoms and possible H1N1 virus. When an arriving passenger with an elevated temperature or other flu symptoms is detected, Turkish Ministry of Health authorities take immediate measures to quarantine the passenger, test for confirmation at least twice, and administer treatment, which altogether can last a week or more. The individual cannot be released until he or she tests negative for H1N1 virus. The quarantine location is a hospital designated by the Turkish Ministry of Health. Any questions or concerns about influenza or other illnesses should be directed to a medical professional. Although the Embassy cannot provide medical advice or provide medical services to the public, a list of hospitals and doctors can be found on the U.S. Embassy Ankara's website (http://turkey.usembassy.gov/medical_information.html). The Turkish Ministry of Health is planning to vaccinate approximately 10 million people against swine flu this fall.
For further information about 2009-H1N1 Influenza, including steps you can take to stay healthy, please consult the Department of State information at (http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/flu/flu_1181.html), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at (http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu), the U.S. Government pandemic influenza website at http://www.pandemicflu.gov, and the World Health Organization website at (http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/en/index.html). For additional travel safety information, please consult the State Department's website at (http://www.travel.state.gov).
FEDERAL VOTING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM NEWSLETTER
Voting Information News (VIN) is a monthly newsletter that contains information on upcoming elections. You may view the newsletter at FVAP website (http://www.fvap.gov/vao/vin.html)
One of the hardest situations to deal with is the death of a family member or friend, which is made even more traumatic when the death occurs outside of the United States. We want you to know that we can assist American citizens in these situations by helping to arrange a funeral service as soon as possible, to repatriate remains to the U.S. if needed, printing a U.S. death certificate and assisting with difficult estate issues.
If you need assistance from us please call 0322 346 6262 between 08:00-17:00 or the Consulate Duty officer at 0322 346 6262 after hours. You may also want to review the information at U.S. Embassy Ankara website (http://turkey.usembassy.gov/death_ac_abroad.html)
THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS
The Consulate will be closed on the following American and Turkish holidays:
October 12 (Mon) – Columbus Day (U.S.)
October 28-29, 2009 (Wed-Thu) – Independence Day (from 13:00 on 10/28) (Turkey)
November 11, 2009 (Weds) Veteran’s Day (U.S.)
November 26, 2009 (Thurs) Thanksgiving (U.S.)
November 27-30 (Fri- Mon) Kurban Bayram (Turkey)
December 25 (Fri) Christmas (U.S.)
OUR CONTACT INFO
Contact information for the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Turkey:
Ankara: 110 Ataturk Boulevard
Tel: (90)(312) 455-5555
Fax (90)(312) 468-6131
U.S. Embassy Ankara Website (http://ankara.usembassy.gov)
Istanbul: Kaplicalar Mevkii Sokak No. 2, 34460, Istinye, Sariyer,
Tel: (90) (212) 335-9000
Fax (90) (212) 335-9102
U.S. Consulate General İstanbul Website (http://istanbul.usconsulate.gov)
Adana: Girne Bulvari No. 212, Guzelevler Mahallesi, Yuregir
Tel: (90)(322) 346-6262
Fax (90)(322) 346-7916
U.S. Consulate Adana (http://adana.usconsulate.gov)
Izmir Consular Agent:
İzmir Consular Agency (http://turkey.usembassy.gov/consular_agent_izmir.html)