02/01/2017 1:04 PM AEDT | Updated 02/01/2017 7:43 PM AEDT

DFAT Urges Aussies To Avoid Istanbul After NYE Terror Attack

Australians are being told to reconsider travel to Turkey.

DFAT wants Aussies headed to Turkey to reconsider their travel plans.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has upgraded its advice for Aussies headed to Turkey, warning travellers to exercise a high level of caution.

The caution comes after at least 39 people were killed in a crowded Istanbul nightclub on New Year's Eve. Close to 70 others were injured in what authorities believe was a terror attack, with a manhunt for the killer underway.

In its upgraded travel advice, DFAT urged Australians to stay clear of the area.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on Monday.

"In continuation of the blessed operations that Islamic State is conducting against the protector of the cross, Turkey, a heroic soldier of the caliphate struck one of the most famous nightclubs where the Christians celebrate their apostate holiday," the statement read.

AFP/Getty Images
People lay flowers in front of the Reina night club following the massacre on New Year's Eve.

"Avoid the area, exercise heightened caution and remain vigilant to your personal safety and surroundings," the agency said on its website on Monday.

"We continue to advise you to reconsider your need to travel to Ankara and Istanbul and to exercise a high degree of caution in Turkey overall. Higher levels apply in some parts of Turkey."

Osman Orsal / Reuters
Scores of people have been killed and injured in a New Year's Eve attack in Istanbul.

DFAT said those headed to Turkey's capital Istanbul should "think seriously" about whether they needed to travel there.

"If you do travel, do your research and take a range of extra safety precautions, including having contingency plans. Check that your travel insurer will cover you," DFAT added.

Many of the victims of the massacre were foreigners, accounting for 24 of the attack's victims, according to reports.

The attacker reportedly killed a policeman and a member of the public outside the club before entering and firing on people partying inside.