Facts

Passport & Visa

Passport should be valid at least 90 days longer than the expiry date of the requested visa. Turkey requires visa for citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia and many European countries which can be obtained at the airport upon your entry. Make sure you get your visa before you line up to go to passport control. All you need is a valid passport and USD 20 in cash.

Kindly note that there are exceptional countries therefore please check it with your travel agent before you leave your country. For more information, please visit Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.
 
Literacy Rate

Male: 95.3 %
Female: 79.6 %

Capital city

Ankara

Area

312,000 square miles

Telephone calling code

0090

Electricity

220 Volt. Please note that you will need European style adaptors/transformers to plug & use your electric appliances/chargers.
 
Local Currency

Turkish Lira (TL)

Population

74 million

Time Zone

Eastern Standard time + 7 hours
Greenwich Mean Time + 2 Hours

Vaccines

No special vaccinations are required for travel to Turkey.

Climate

Turkey has a temperate climate. Istanbul’s weather is like Mid-Atlantic States while Mediterranean Turkey’s weather is similar to Florida. Summer temperature are in the low 80’s in İstanbul and in the high 80’s in the Mediterranean.

Weights & Measure

Turkey uses the metric system.
 
Water

Although the tap water is chlorinated, we recommend our guests to consume bottled water.

Tax

Value-added tax (VAT) of 8 to 18 % is already added to everything that is purchased in Turkey, but you can get a refund at the airport or by mail. Some of the stores are able to offer tax-free shopping.

Tipping

Customary tipping at the restaurants for waiters is between 10% and 15%. The locals tip taxis drivers 10%. Gratuities for the guide and the driver are not included in tour prices.

Taxis

All taxis are required to have digital meters, and to run them. This doesn’t mean they always do. If your driver doesn’t start it, or tries to haggle at the start of the trip instead of running it, just point to the meter emphatically. It’ll probably be cheaper.

Language

Turkish is spoken and written in Latin letters.

Internet

Most of the hotels offer wireless connection, especially in public areas free of charge. Some of the hotels offer free wireless even in the room.

You should know that there are 2 different characters for “i” in Turkish. İ with dot and without dot. There are 2 buttons on the keyboard. For @ sign on most of the Turkish keyboards, press “Alt Gr” and Q together.

Dress Code

Even though there is no dress code for the museums, the visitors are expected to dress properly, especially in mosques.

Proper attire in holy shrines is long sleeve shirts and pants. If you have not brought any pants thinking that it would be too hot in summer, not to worry! You will be provided with a temporary long skirt before entering the mosque. For popular mosques such as Blue Mosque or The Mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent, ladies do not have to cover their heads with a headscarf.

Office hours

Offices are open on Monday to Friday from 09.00 to 17.00.

Shopping Hours

Shops are open from 09.00 to 19.00 and most of the shops are closed on Sunday including the Grand Bazaar. Western shopping malls are open for 7 days from 10.00 to 22.00.

Newspapers

Herald Tribune and Wall Street Journal are printed in Turkey and they are easier to find. There are 2 local daily newspapers in English: Today’s Zaman and Turkish Daily News.

Government Type

Republican Parliamentary Democracy
 
Legislative Branch

Grand National Assembly
 
Judicial Branch

Constitutional Court
High Court of Appeals (Yargıtay)
Council of State (Danistay)
Court of Accounts (Sayistay)

Medical Care

All Turkish cities have hospitals and towns have clinics often with staff who speak at least some English. Besides government hospitals, there are now many private hospitals that are often of top quality and thoroughly up-to-date.

Credit Cards

All major cards are accepted in Turkey.
 
Good Buys

If you know what you are looking for, the bazaars throughout Istanbul and Turkey are rich with great bargains. The best deals can be made on jewellery, carpets, and antiques, but always bring an expert along if you plan to buy something very expensive. Turkish handicrafts include a rich variety of textiles and embroideries, articles of copper, onyx, and tile, mother-of-pearl, inlaid hardwoods, leather and suede products, jewellery and, above all, carpets and kilims.
 
When To Go

Summertime is hot, humid. Wintertime is not very cold – temperatures average 40°F – but it is damp, with an average 3.5″ of rain per month. This leaves spring and fall, specifically April, May, and June, plus September and October, with a temperature range of 55 to 80°F.
 
Cuisine

Turkish food is a mixture of the culinary traditions of Central Asia with a heavy Mediterranean influence and a hint of Ottoman Empire tossed in for good measure. Tender young lamb is featured on all menus, often as shish kebab (pieces of meat threaded on a skewer and grilled) or doner kebab (pieces of lamb packed tightly around a revolving spit). Or try dolma, grape leaves stuffed with rice, nuts, and currants that are sweeter and more complex than the Greek variety. There are also a wide range of Turkish sweets and pastries, including the famous Turkish delight, which is made from honey, roses, mint, pistachio, coconut bound by Arabic gum and designed to sweeten the breath after coffee which is like marshmallow. And your breath will need it, because the Turkish coffee is very strong but tasty, the sludge in the bottom will be used by the fortune teller to read your fortune so don’t drink that. The national drink is raki (anisette), known as “lion’s milk,” and it is aniseed liquor which is a digestive like pernod or ouzo. Turks drink black tea in tulip shaped glasses. They serve apple tea which tastes like apple ciders but that drink has become popular among tourists but locals don’t drink that much. Ayran is a cold drink that they like to drink which is basically yoghurt and water. They say it is like butter-milk but it tastes much better.

National Holidays

January 1: New Year’s Day
April 23: National Sovereignty and Children’s Day
May 19: Commemoration of Atatürk
August 30: Victory Day
October 29: Republic Day

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Turkey

•Goreme National Park & the Rock Sites of Cappadocia, Nevsehir
•Great Mosque & Hospital of Divrigi, Sivas
•Historic Areas of Istanbul: The World Heritage site in Istanbul covers four zones illustrating the major phases of the city’s history using its most prestigious monuments:
- The Archaeological Park, which in 1953 and 1956 was defined at the tip of the peninsula
- The Süleymaniye quarter protected since 1980
- The Zeyrek quarter, protected since 1979
- The zone of the ramparts protected since 1981.
•Hattusa: the Hittite Capital, Bogazkale, Corum
•Nemrut Mountain, near Adıyaman
•Hierapolis, Pamukkale
•Xanthos – Letoon, Fethiye
•City of Safranbolu
•Archaeological Site of Troy, Canakkale
•Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex, Edirne

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