turkey travel
Turkey facts

Language:

Turkish (official), Kurdish, Dimli (or Zaza), Azeri, Kabardian

English, French, and German are widely understood and spoken

Religion:

Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews)

Government:

Parliamentary Republic

Head of Gov.:

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan; Head of State: President Abdullah Gül

Visas:

Currently, Australian, Canadian and US citizens require a visa, but this is subject to change. Please check with the nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate for the most up-to-date information concerning visas. Normally, visas can be obtained as you enter the country for a fee of about $25 US.

Health Risks:

Heat exhaustion, dehydration, sunburn

If you take a prescription medication, bring the current prescription note and a letter from your doctor with the medication’s name, manufacturer’s name, and dosage.

Clothing Suggestions:

Turkey is a fairly large country, and its climate can vary from region to region. Here are some general clothing recommendations according to season.

SUMMER: April through October – casual clothing made of lightweight fabrics and good walking shoes are essential. A shawl, sweater and/or jacket is recommended for cooler evenings. Sunglasses and a sun hat are also recommended. Although shorts are appropriate casual attire for men, woman should avoid wearing them in cities.

WINTER: Mid-November through Mid-March – A wardrobe of matching coordinates, made of man-made fibers and/or wool, which allow for minimum and maximum warmth for varying temperatures is suggested. A topcoat with zip-out lining is also advised. It is wise to use the layered approach to clothing allowing for warmer or cooler weather spells.

SPRING/FALL: Mid-March through April and then October through Mid-November – Lightweight wool or topcoat are suggested.

DINING: Informal attire, except for some selected restaurants in main cities, which may require tie and jacket for men.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES: Comfortable shoes and a sun hat are a must.

MOSQUES AND CHURCHES: Shorts are forbidden. Women are required to wear headscarves when visiting Mosques.

CRUISES: Casual daytime attire is suggested. For occasional special gala evenings cocktail dress and tie and jacket are suggested.

Safety

The rate of street crime remains relatively low in Turkey. In Istanbul, petty street crime is most common in tourist areas such as Taksim Square, Sultanahmet, and in the areas around the Grand Bazaar and Spice (Egyptian) Bazaar. You should carry a copy of your passport and visa with you and leave your passport in your hotel safe. Carry only what you need when in these areas.
Pick pocketing operates in crowded areas like trams, bazaars and other crowded areas .

Time Zone

Two hours ahead of GMT/UTC; seven hours ahead of U.S. EST.

Banking / Exchange

Banks and post offices generally offer the best rates of exchange. It is best to avoid hotels and moneychangers that charge more than 5% commission.

Some western currencies, especially U.S. dollars, can be used to buy occasional goods and services; however, some Turks may take offense to this.  ATMs (“bankamatik”) accept Visa/MC and dispense Turkish Lira.  Ijn some cases, some ATMS offer USD and Euro.

Currency

Turkish Lira (TL)

Electric Current

The standard household electrical current throughout Turkey is 220 AC, 50 cycles, and the outlets are made for two round poles. Adapters and transformers may be available in major hotels and cruise ships. Voltage is marked clearly on all hotel outlets.

Credit Cards / Traveler Checks

MasterCard and Visa are accepted in larger businesses; American Express and other credit cards are not as popular. It is possible to use most major credit cards to receive cash advances from banks and teller machines throughout the country.

TRAVELERS CHECKS:

While traveler’s checks are one of the safest means of carrying money, many businesses in Turkey do not accept them as payment, especially outside of large cities. It may be necessary to exchange them at banks or post offices.

Shopping:

General Trade Stores Shopping Hours

Mon: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Thurs: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Tues: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Fri: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Wed: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sat: 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Sun: Closed

Weights & measures:

Metric

How to shop Tax Fee:

1. Ask any merchant if he or she is authorized to issue Value Added Tax (VAT) refund invoice. If he or she is, ask for the invoice when you make your purchase.

2. When you leave Turkey, make sure your purchases and receipts are readily available for inspection. Allow plenty of time for this process when you arrive at the airport. A Customs official will stamp your invoice(s). Without this stamp, an invoice is not valid and VAT refund cannot be made.

3. Mail your invoice(s) back to the merchant(s) for a refund. Be sure to include your preferred method of reimbursement. You can receive a refund credited to a credit card or a bank account.

National Airport:

Atatürk Havaalani (Istanbul) IST

Major Tourist Attractions:

Ankara, Antalya, Bodrum, Cappadocia( Goreme/Urgup/Nevsehir), Ephesus (Selcuk), Izmir, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Marmaris, Fethiye

Tipping Suggestion:

Tips are generally not considered as source of income, but they are usually expected. Generally, a 10% tip is appropriate in restaurants and taxis. Servers in many very high-class restaurants may expect a 15%-20% tip unless a service charge is included in the bill. If a service charge is included, leave a small tip to show your gratitude. A tip of about US $1 is appropriate for hotel porters.

 

 

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