Over the last weeks, we have been closely monitoring the security and safety in Istanbul. In particular, we have been focused on how events in Israel and the Gaza Strip may impact attendee safety.
We try to assess risk whenever we host an event. In the case of Devconnect Istanbul, we have consulted with our event organizer partners, local community members, and monitored government warnings that affect our community or the region. We recently took an additional step of working with external risk advisory services to consider where and how we may need to make changes to reflect conditions regionally.
In advance of further updates, we want to share two key points:
Although the current threat specifically targeting the Devconnect event itself is low, there is a significant risk of large protests, targeted violence, or disruptions in various Istanbul neighborhoods. It is possible for these risks to increase over the next few weeks, if the conflict in Israel and Gaza escalates.
There is a severe risk to Israelis, Israeli nationals, and people of Jewish faith or descent. Israel has released a notice warning any Israelis in the country to leave Turkey immediately.
Therefore, we strongly advise high-risk groups to take these warnings seriously, and to reconsider their travel plans, as we continue to evaluate recommendations for others, and to work toward providing clarity for the status of Devconnect events organized by EF.
We understand this might make some people uncomfortable, but we have made the decision to prioritize the safety of community members, and we feel a responsibility to share what we have learned as soon as possible.
These last weeks have included complicated and emotional decisions for many in our community, the members of which hold diverse opinions. In addition to the risks stated, we also recognize the physical distance between Istanbul and the heart of this conflict, and that a thriving local community has been active and positive every step of the way. In this process, we’ve heard feedback from the perspectives of those that would be impacted personally, team members that are in conflict zones, organizing teams, and others that have spent their year working toward these events.
We will continue to provide updates as regional conditions clarify. Thank you for your continued patience during this complicated time.