Turkey is a transcontinental Eurasian nation. Asian Turkey, made up largely of Anatolia, is 97 percent of the country. The remainder, eastern Thrace or Ru¬melia in the Balkan Peninsula, is European Turkey. Asian and European Turkey are separated by the Istanbul Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dar¬danelles Bosphorus, which together form a water link between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Turkey is geographically divided into seven regions: Marmara, Aegean, Black Sea, Central Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia, Southeastern Anatolia, and Mediterranean.
The Marmara, Aegean and Mediterranean coasts display a typical Mediterranean climate of hot summers and mild winters. July and August are the hottest months with temperatures around 29°C. The humidity is a little high during summer in these regions. Temperatures increase a few degrees when traveling to the south and water temperatures also become warmer. The swimming season is from June to September along the Marmara and North Aegean coasts, while it is from April to October on the South Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. The Black Sea Region has a moderate climate; the summers are warm and winters are mild. In this region the rainfalls are heavier than in any other region.
The swimming season in the Black Sea Region is from June until early September and the weather is not so dependable. There is quite a difference between the coastal regions and the inland regions which are at higher altitudes. The climate reaches its extremes in central and eastern Anatolia with hot, dry summers when the temperatures may reach 42°C, and cold, snowy winters. Spring and autumn are best for sightseeing and traveling
Turkey is in the Eastern European Time Zone, two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2). Daylight Saving Time or Summer Time (GMT+3) begins on the last Sunday in March at 1:00 a.m. and ends on the last Sunday in October at 1:00 a.m
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all international travelers stay up-to-date with routine immunizations, which include influenza, chickenpox (or varicella), polio, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), and diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT). Although childhood diseases, such as measles, rarely occur in the US today, they are not uncommon in many parts of the world, so an unvaccinated traveler is at risk for infection.
The CDC also recommends that all travelers who might be exposed to blood or other body fluids through medical treatment be immunized against hepatitis B. Immunization against hepatitis A and boosters for typhoid and polio are recommended as well.
Travelers to Turkey’s major cities do not need to take medicines to prevent malaria; there is, however, some risk of malaria in the eastern, rural areas. For more information, check the CDC’s Web site, wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.aspx.
ID Cards and Passports
Turks have compulsory ID cards, which they must carry with them at all times. Foreigners are also expected to carry such ID with them, which means that you should keep your passport with you at all times. In case you lose your passport, you should immediately contact your country's embassy or consulate in Turkey.
Air: Most international airlines offer regular flights from all major cities of the world to Turkey’s international airports. The national carrier—Turkish Airlines—and various private airlines, such as Atlasjet, Onur Air, Pegasus, and SunExpress, offer regular flights to Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Dalaman, Istanbul, Izmir and Trabzon.
Sea: In addition to the numerous Mediterranean cruises available, several foreign shipping companies offer regular passage services to Turkish port cities. Car and passenger ferry services are also available for certain coastal destinations.
Rail. Train journeys can be made directly between Istanbul and some of the major cities in Europe.
Bus: Regular coach services operate between Turkey and Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and Syria. Within Turkey, fairly comfortable buses serve the major cities on a regular schedule at reasonable prices, usually somewhere in the US$20–50 range. Some companies, such as Ulusoy and Varan, offer nonstop bus service with meals, beverage service, and wireless Internet access during travel.
Currency and Foreign Exchange
Turkish Lira is available in the following denominations: Banknotes: 1, 5,10,20,50 &100 TL Coins: 1, 5, 10, 25 & 50 kuruş and 1 TL . Usually, cash can be exchanged without charging commission in exchange offices, banks or hotels. (Travellers from UK should remember that Scottish notes are not accepted in Turkey) Cash point machines (ATM) are available in most areas, which accept major European credit and cards and give instructions in English. It may be a good idea to inform your bank in advance that you are travelling to Turkey as some will automatically put a stop on cards after the first usage in an attempt to combat fraud.
Exchange rates are published daily in Turkish newspapers. If you are planning to exchange currency back from TL before leaving the country, or are making a major purchase, which may need to be declared to customs, you will need to keep your transaction receipts in order to show that the currency has been legally exchanged.
- There is no limit to the amount of foreign and Turkish currency to be brought into Turkey.
- More than US$5000 worth of Turkish currency can not be taken out of the country.
- Up to US$5000 worth of foreign currency can be taken out of the country.
- US$5000 in cash may be taken out of the country by foreigners living abroad, or Turkish citizens working abroad, and those settled in Turkey, if they document that they have purchased currency from authorised banks.
- Larger amount of foreign or Turkish currency must be transferred abroad through banks.
- All personal belongings and articles made of precious stones or metals (with no commercial purposes) worth under $15,000 may be brought into and taken out of the country. Jewellery worth more than that may only be taken out of the country providing it has been registered on entry or purchased in Turkey with legally exchanged currency.
- Cash brought into the country to be purchased for exportation and brought out of Turkey must be declared on entry.
To dial abroad from Turkey, dial the international code 00 followed by the country code, and then the number including the local area code, but removing the first 0. For example, a London number with an area code of 0207 would be dialled from Turkey as 00 44 207 followed by the number. To dial Turkey from abroad dial the international code 00 followed by the country code, 90 and then the number including the local area code, but removing the first 0. For example, a Fethiye number with an area code of 0252 would be dialled from abroad as 00 90 252 followed by the number.
There are public phone booths which accept cards or tokens (jetton) which can be bought from post offices (PTT) or local shops. Network coverage is extremely good and it is very rare to be in an area where your mobile does not work.
A mobile (cell) phone is very useful in Turkey. As foreigner, it is probably impossible to use a mobile phone in Turkey; even a new SIM-card is purchased from a Turkish mobile phone company. Several years ago, the Turkish government passed a law requiring all mobile phones used in Turkey to be registered with the government. Not just the SIM card, but the handset itself. Registration helps prevent terrorist acts. Turkish and foreign visitors are entitled to bring one mobile phone into Turkey each calendar year for use during their stay in Turkey. A personal mobile phone brought into Turkey in this manner is exempt from tax and duty. However, it is necessary to register the mobile phone in order to use it with a SIM card bought from a Turkish network operator. Unregistered phones will be blocked and unable to receive or make calls. There is no charge levied for this registration, and no customs documents are required. Take your mobile phone and your passport to a shop of a Turkish Network Operator (Avea, Turkcell or Telsim). Buy a SIM card, and the clerk will register the SIM card's mobile phone number with your handset's IMEI number, and with your personal information.
Useful Telephone Numbers:
|Fire emergency||110||Addresses/zip codes||119|
|Health emergency||112||Phone problems||121|
|Registration for international calls||115||Police emergency||155|
|How to make calls||118||Directory assistance||11811|
You will need to pay for any medical treatment which you receive in Turkey. For this reason it is advisable to take out medical insurance before travelling. It is not difficult to find English-speaking doctors in all but the most remote areas. There are also foreign run hospitals in many of the larger towns and resorts. You can find a list of hospitals on the British Consulate in Turkey website: http://www.britishembassy.gov.uk There are pharmacies in most places with trained pharmacists who are able to offer advice on minor illnesses. Many more medicines are available over the counter.
Hacettepe Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Plastik ve Rekonstrüktif Cerrahi Ana Bilim Dalı,
06100 Sıhhıye ANKARA
Tel +90 (312) 311 93 93, +90 (312) 310 98 08
Turkish Tourist Health Society performs the functions below:
To provide the travellers in the entire country, mainly in the touristic regions, with proper health care
To secure food hygiene
To prevent environmental pollution
To ensure hygiene and healthy working-conditions in touristic establishments
You can drive in Turkey with an international driving licence. You should have a copy of this, together with your passport and insurance documents with you in the car at all times, as you will need it if you are involved in an accident. All of the major international car rental companies, as well as a number of local ones, have offices at airports and all major centres. Driving in Turkey is on the right, as in continental Europe.
Turkish road signs conform to the International Protocol on Road Signs and archaeological and historic sites are indicated by yellow signs. Turkey has a good network of well-maintained roads. There is a 50 km per hour speed limit within urban centres and 90 km outside urban centres. Petrol stations are fairly easy to rind and on main highways, they are often open 24hrs andhave restaurants and other facilities attached. Unleaded (kurşunsuz) petrol is easily available. If you are planning on driving to Turkey, as well as your passport, you will need to take your international driving licence, car registration documents and international green card (insurance card) with the TR sign clearly visible (NB: This can be purchased on arrival at the border). You can bring your own car into the country for up to six months. If you wish to keep your car in Turkey for more than six months, you are liable to pay import tax.
Those who use 110 V or any other than 220 V at home need a converter as Turkey has 220 V power system. Please check your electric appliances before you use them in your hotel room. Only the five stars deluxe properties would have converters so it is advised to bring one with you in case it is needed.
Although tap water is chlorinated and, therefore, safe to drink, it is recommended that you consume bottled water, which is readily and cheaply available.
Food matters in Turkey
Sanitation is taken seriously and strictly controlled in general by the authorities. Those who are vegetarian will be able to find vegetable food or at least omelet which is very popular in Turkey, almost in every town. The Turkish and Ottoman Kitchen is one of the world leading kitchens (Supposed to be the third after the Chinese and French). Dishes are mainly cooked with meat (lamb, chicken and cow -please note that in Turkey pork is not eaten-) and vegetables (Beans, Eggplant, Peppers, Onion, Garlic, Potatoes, Courgette). Rice, macaroni , local specialties made from flour (Pide, Manti, Gozleme, Borek...), sweets (Baklava, Kadayıf, Burma, Sobiyet ...) are all widely eaten. Most of the restaurants display their food in windows, or waiters can bring the samples if you request.
Embassies and Consulates