GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT TURKEY
Address: Amiral Tafdil Sok.No:10/A Sultanahmet Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: +90 (212) 638 0276
Fax:+90 (212) 638 0283
Mobile :+90 533 241 0592
Turkey includes the large peninsula of Western Asia (known
as both Asia Minor and Anatolia) and the European section
west of the Bosphorous strait (called Thrace). It covers
an area of 783,500 square kms (300,000 square miles) which
is roughly equivalent to the size of Texas or the
countries of Spain and Italy together. To the south and
west are the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas respectively
and to the north is the Black Sea. In clockwise order,
Turkey shares borders with Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia,
Armenia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Nineteen mountains are
over 4,100 meters (13,800 feet) high; of them Mt. Ararat (Agri
Dag) is the highest at 5,073 meters (16,910 feet). Both
the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers (Dicle and Firat) have
their source in Anatolia.
The economy of the country is based on agriculture,
industry, tourism and natural resources.
The current population of Turkey is over 65 million people,
65% of them live in cities. Over half the population is
under the age of 20.
Inter-city transportation is by airlines, trains and
ferries but by far the most convenient and economical
transport is by taking one of the modern and comfortable
buses that travel almost everywhere in the country. Within
towns and cities, cost-shared taxis (dolmus) and normal
taxis are easily available.
Turkey has a typically hot and sunny Mediterranean Climate,
but it can get cold at night.
Turkey has many Bazaars and shops. The Turkish Carpets are
very beautiful and are quite valuable as they are
handwoven with unique designs and made with wool & silk,
coloured with natural dyes and pigments. Each region of
Turkey has its own design and the silk carpets (kilms) are
of course the most valuable. Some of them can take one
weaver up to eighteen months to make. Leather and jewelry
(gold and silver) are also favourite purchases. In Turkey
you can haggle to get the prices down and you will find
that there is something to be found within anyone's budget.
Turkish Cuisine is one of the best in the world. It has a
wide variety of dishes and is very healthy as well as
Tipping is customary at hotels and restaurants and for
tour guides and drivers.
99% of the Turkish Population is Muslim although they are
generally not as strict as most of their Muslim neighbours.
Turkey is a secular republic which grants freedom of
Visas & Passports
Visas are required from many countries to visit Turkey.
Prior to departure you must check with the appropriate
Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence. For US
citizens, no prior request is necessary, but a visa must
be purchased upon arrival in Turkey. This is normally
issued before going through passport control and is valid
for 90 days. Please ensure your passport has at least 3
months validity before you enter the country
Health & Vaccinations
In general Turkey is a pretty healthy country to travel in
although many people experience stomach upsets. It is best
to drink bottled water and take the usual precautions over
food hygiene. We recommend that you have the following
vaccinations: Diptheria & Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis A,
Typhoid, Hepatitis B, Rabies and you may want to take
Malaria Tablets if you are travelling to Eastern Turkey.
You should take out travel/health insurance before you
Turkey is seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and
two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
The currency used in Turkey is the Turkish Lira. Although
all credit cards are accepted throughout Turkey, Visa and
Master Card are most commonly used. Automated teller
machines are normally available in larger cities. It is
important to know that your PIN number must be all
numerals, (no letters), and that the money dispensed will
be in Turkish Lira. Throughout Turkey, banking hours are
8.30am - 12.00pm and 1.00pm - 5.00pm Monday to Friday.
Commission and exchange rates vary from bank to bank.
Commission rates typically remain within 1% to 3%. Money
exchange bureaus usually offer a good rate for cash, while
hotels are as good a place as any to cash travellers
checks. Please note that a passport is required when
exchanging travellers checks for large amounts of cash.
Post Offices are easily identified by their bright yellow
facades and PTT (Postal, Telegraph, and Telephone) signs.
The main post offices in the large cities are open Monday
to Saturday 8.00am - 9.00pm and 9.00am - 7.00pm on Sunday.
Smaller post offices are open Monday to Saturday from
8.30am to 5.00pm. Postal fees fluctuate according to
inflation rates. The cost of mailing postcards and letters
Calling the US from Turkey
As throughout the world, hotels in Turkey apply heavy
service fees to international phone calls. Therefore, we
recommend using a long distance calling card. Although
your calling card will be billed for the call, the hotel
will assess a nominal fee for connecting you with the
Turkey is an informal country. Comfortable, casual
clothing is appropriate to wear throughout. Comfortable
clothes and sensible walking shoes are advisable to wear
during sightseeing. You will be required to remove your
shoes upon entering a mosque. Keep in mind that shorts,
short skirts or bare shoulders are not allowed in the
mosques, and that a head covering for women, although not
required, is greatly appreciated.
220 Volts. In Turkey, electrical appliances manufactured
in the U.S. require the use of a standard two-prong
adaptor. A converter is also needed if the appliance does
not have dual voltage as the voltage varies between 110V
and 220V at 50Hz. However, many hotels are equipped with
110V outlets for such items as shavers, and are clearly
marked "For Shavers Only." As the voltage in the U.S. is
considerably lower (110V), the use of high wattage
appliances such as blow dryers should not be attempted.
What is expensive and what is cheap in Turkey
As a general rule, anything sold in Turkey that is
imported is quite expensive.
Camera film, toiletries and anything electrical are
expensive. Whereas cigarettes, local alcohol (vodka, gin
and raki), leather, carpets, clothes, sunglasses, silver
and gold jewellery are cheap
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