TURKEY TRAVEL TIPS
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Where is Turkey and what is it like ?
%3 of the country is in Europe and %97 is in Asia . Turkey is a bridge between Asia and Europe. It is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, Aegean Sea, Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Turkey is a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage. Turkey has become increasingly integrated with the West through membership in organisations such as the Council of Europe , NATO , OECD , OSCE and the G-20 major economies .
What is the time zone in Turkey ?
Turkey's time zone is Eastern European Time ( +2 GMT )
What is the weather going to be like ?
Turkey can be visited year-round depending on your itinerary . Spring and fall are the most comfortable seasons to travel due to mild temperatures and less rainfall . Summer temperatures are high and season is ideal for cruising the Aegean and hanging out on the beach . If you are visiting Turkey in summer time (particularly July and August), you may need a sun hat and sun blocks to protect yourself against sun burning, also people with sensitive skin should have something to cover their shoulders for the same reason. If you are visiting Turkey in winter time ( Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar), you will need your warm clothes as the temperature may drop down as low as -15 C ( 5 F ) especially in the central eastern parts of Turkey. Also, have your umbrellas and raincoats.
What are the business hours ?
Unlike the rest of the Middle East, Turkey s weekend falls on Saturday and Sunday. There may be a few hours on Friday afternoons when a few shops are closed for Friday prayer , but generally everything varries on as normal, especially in big cities . Almost all government offices and Banks are open between 8:30 a.m to 5 p.m , and are closed on Sundays. Shopping malls have long hours from 9 a.m to 10 p.m .
Is my hairdryer/laptop/shaver going to work in Turkey ?
Electricity in Turkey is 220 volt, 50-60 cycle . If you intend to bring any electrical equipment , an adapter that converts electricity from 220V to 110V is suggested. Two pin plugs are used throughout Turkey .
How can I keep in touch with those back home ?
The international dialing code for Turkey is +90 . IDD is widely available . The outgoing international code is : 00 .
How is Turkey’s transportation network ?
Turkey has a good long distance bus network with air conditioned buses, reserved seats and generally good service quality . Buses are staffed by good drivers and a number of asistants . During the ride , you will be offered free drinks.
What can I / should I wear ?
In summer, light summer – wear(t-shirts and shorts) for all coastal regions will be fine . Don t forget your sun block and hat ! A light sweater is also a good idea for evenings when it can get chilly , especially in Istanbul and Cappadocia. Comfortable walking shoes are highly recommended . For winter time travelers , we recommend regular winter clothing especially for central Turkey where heavy snow and cold weather can be encountered . For winter time in Istanbul a warm jacket is a must .
Will Ramadan affect my vacation ?
As a tourist you will not be affected by Ramadan , and night life will continue in the city as usual. Although most people in rural Turkey will be fasting during the day , many people in the cities and tourist areas will not be .
Is Turkey safe ?
Turkey is one of the safest countries in the world to travel, but some rare instances of crime, theft and robbery happen in big cities. Especially, if you would like to walk around the city at night, leave your valuable stuff, money and passport at hotel safety box. Almost every tourist hotel has a safety box service free to hotel customers.
What about women traveling Turkey alone ?
Women traveling alone mya have few problems like in other countries . They may get a lot of attention from Turkish men who spend their days chasing foreign tourists with the goal of developing a fleeting relationship. These guys can be annoying , but will eventually go away . Most Turkish people are friendly towards the tourist, probably the friendliest in the world.
What about restaurants and tipping ?
Most of the retaurants display their food in windows, or waiters can bring the samples if you request. Also, the menu that shows available food can be found at your table, in tourist areas in English as well. If you are eating out in a restaurant, waiters expect some tip usually 5 to 10% of your bill, you may leave it at the table separately. But it is not like a must in Turkey .
Will it be hard to find an alcoholic beverage in a Muslim country ?
The anise-flavored spirit rakı, Turkey’s national drink, is the traditional accompaniment to a meal of mezes and fish. In large citieslike Istanbul and Izmir, and in resort towns along the coast, rakı is consumed quite liberally, as is Efes, the national beer. Because of high taxes, alcoholic drinks, particularly those that are imported, are a fair bit more expensive in Turkey than Europe.
Do I need to cover up ?
No man or woman on the Street is ever forced to wear a head scarf, turban, or veil. In mosques, however, all women-including tourists- are expected to wear head scarves and all visitors must remove their shoes. In Istanbul and in many coastal cities women can dress provocatively and even wear bikinis without fear while in more conservative cities such behaviour is frowned upon.
Are the people friendly ?
Yes! Turks are renowned for their hospitality and any local will gladly tout this reputation. In Istanbul you might find some cosmopolitan snobbishness, depending on the neighborhood, but just about everywhere else throughout the country Turks are friendly, talkative, passionate and often sport large grins along with a hidden mischievous side. As long as you are polite and avoid insulting the nation, its symbols or its politics, you will do just fine and all probability you will be awed by how kind and friendly Turkish people are.
What if I do not speak Turkish ?
As in any European nation, it benefits salesmen and waiters in tourist hot spots to speak English, and many young professionals and students also make it a priority to learn English. Some schools even have their instruction entirely in English. There is a good chances that the proprietors of your Hotel and the restaurant servers that you meet will all speakperfectly adequate English. Outside of these groups and in more remote locations, your average Turk speaks little to no English but even still you probably won’t have too big problem. Turkish is also an easy language to read as it is written in the Latin alphabet and is entirely phonetic.