WHEN TO TRAVEL TO TURKEY?

Turkey can be visited in all seasons. It only depends on the climate of the region (s) to be visited:

Istanbul
is interesting all around the year. Summers are hot, winters are cold and rainy.

The Aegean Region: summers are hot, winters not to cold but rainy. Best season from April to November.

The Mediterranean Region
: summers are hot, winters are mild and rainy. Best season from March to November but most of the resorts remain open during winter.

The Black Sea Region
: summers are moderate hot, winters are very rainy. Best season from May to October.

Central Anatolia: summers are hot with a great difference between daytime and night temperatures. Winters are cold. However in winter, one should experience to visit Cappadocia under the snow. Best season from April to October.

Eastern Anatolia: summers are hot and winters are very cold. Best season from May to October.

You can get informed of the weather forecast in Turkey on the site of the Turkish State Meteorological Service: www.meteor.gov.tr/en-US/forecast-5days.aspx

 


VISA

Refer to the consular information given on the following site: www.mfa.gov.tr/consular-info.en.mfa
 




TIME

GMT + 2 in winter, and GMT + 3 in summer (from the end of March to the end of October).
 




CHANGING MONEY

On January 1, 2005, six zeros have been removed from the Turkish Lira (Türk Lirasi). The new TL and old TL will be in joint circulation during 2005 until the old TL is completely withdrawn from circulation by the end of 2005.
The new currency unit is the YTL ("Y" stands for Yeni, new in Turkish). One million Turkish Lira (1.000.000 TL) is now equivalent to one New Turkish Lira (1 YTL). The subunit of the currency is the Yeni Kurus (Ykr).
YTL banknotes: YTL 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100.
Coins: YKr 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 1 YTL.
The international currency code of the YTL has been determined as TRY instead of the previous TRL.

Change can be done in international airports, hotels, exchange offices (döviz bürosu have change at better rates), and banks opened every day from 9.30 am to 12.00 am and from 13.30 pm to 17.00 pm except on Saturdays and Sundays.
It is preferable to pay with a credit card (widely used in Turkey) for the purchase of items of value such as carpets, jewels... the invoices of which should be kept.
 




WEIGHT AND MEASURES

The Metric and Kilo system is used.

 




ELECTRICITY

220 volts all over Turkey.

 




HEALTH

No vaccination required. Tap water is safe to drink although highly chlorinated in the larger cities. So it is advisable to drink bottled water or mineral water. All kind of drugs can be found in pharmacies called “eczane” in Turkish.
 




ANIMALS

An international health certificate as well as a certificate of booster vaccination against rabbies are compulsory.
 




WHAT TO BRING INTO YOUR LUGGAGE


In summer, light cotton clothes will be worn during daytime. Light woollen garments can be needed at night in Istanbul, the Aegean and Mediterranean Costs. In Central and Eastern Anatolia and in the Black Sea region warmer garments are necessary at night. Raincoats and coats are necessary in other seasons. Good walking shoes, hat, sunglasses and sun creams are recommended. Film rolls, but in case of film shortage, all kind of films can be easily found. Film processing is cheap and of good quality.
 




RULES TO BE OBSERVED

Photography is not allowed in certain places such as frontier and military areas, docks, airports. Inside mosques it is possible to take pictures. During prayer time the visitor should be more discreet. Decent clothing is required, as well as a headscarf for the women (in most of the mosque).
 




TRANSPORTATION

26 cities are served by Turkish Airlines (THY) domestic flights.
Because the rail network is not very developed in Turkey, instead there is a high number of luxurious scheduled bus services throughout the country.
Boats, sea buses and ferries operate some routes between the main ports.
Taxis with taximeter are widely used everywhere in the country. Night fare costs 50% more from 24.00 till 06.00.
In Istanbul, all kinds of transpotation are used: yellow taximeter taxis, collective taxis (dolmus), buses, minibuses, trains, trams, a subway, a funicular, boats, sea buses and ferries.
 




ROAD NETWORK

The road network is good and well developed with many main and secondary roads. A highway is opened between Istanbul and Ankara, as well as some other highway sections in different regions of Turkey. In big cities, traffic is generally heavy. On the main roads also, where there are lots of trucks and buses.In Turkey you drive on the right and the highway code is the same as in European countries. The roadsign “DUR” means STOP, and “YAVAS” (written in big letters on the road) means SLOW DOWN.
 




SHOPPING

Handicraft is very reputed in Turkey where there is a wide range of high quality items. Prices are labeled but in the bazaars, bargaining is still practiced. As an elementary ritual of courtesy, you will be offered, by the shopkeeper, Turkish coffee or tea served in small traditional glasses.

The following items are the most prized and frequently purchased by foreign visitors:


Beautiful carpets and kilims.

Jewels and other golden and silver items, precious and semiprecious stones. The “Nazar Boncuk” is an eye made of a blue bead used to ward off evil influences from others.

Nazar Boncuk
Leather and suede have an exceptional smoothness both in quality and prices: coats, jackets, pants, shoes, bags, belts...

Materials and pieces of embroidery: silk, precious materials, garments embroidered with gold or silver threads,lace work, coton fabrics, tablecloths, toweling...

Ceramics tiles and pottery: plates, bowls, jugs, vases, decorative wall tiles... all with beautiful patterns and colors.
Copper items of yellow, red color or tinplated: trays, ewers, samovars, braseros, tumblers, cans, coffee mills...


Onyx : the quality of onyx depends on the color: brown-veined green onyx is the best. Lots of items are made with onyx: vases, plates, dishes, chess-boards and pieces, eggs, lamp bases.....

Meerschaum
used for the making of beautifuly carved pipes.
Copies of antiquities are sold in some museums.

Turkish Delight(Lokum), and also Spices and aromatic herbs that delight the eye and smell.

Old books and Postcards
, miniatures, items inlaid with mother-of-pearl or silver, narghiles, figures of Karagöz shadow-theatre made of translucent colored skins are among many other items which can be bought.


It is strictly forbidden to take antiquities out of Turkey.
 




POST OFFICE

A yellow PTT sign indicates the post offices. Central post offices are opened from 08.00 till 24.00. Others are opened till 17.00. Phone cards must be purchased to use at public telephones.

Cellular phones work throughout Turkey.

 




FEASTS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

On New Year’s Day, religious feasts , April 23 rd, May 19th, August 30th and October 29th, shops, banks and Public Services are closed.