Printable travel guide for Turkey
Travel Guide

Here you will find travel information and insider tips about Turkey that has been cooperatively contributed by other friendly Hospitality Club members. Please become active as well, and share your vast budget travel and backpacking knowledge with other members and the internet community - it is very easy to edit any information here (more info in the Help File). We hope that these Travel Guides will quickly become a great and fun resource. If you want to print this guide out to take with you, we have prepared this Printer Friendly Travel Guide for you. Enjoy!
For Introduction, Top Things to See and Do, Neighboring Countries, Who is coming?, Want more guests!, Hospitality Club Meetings and the geographic navigation please see the main Turkey Page.

Basic Facts

Official Country Name: Türkiye Cumhuriyeti (Republic of Turkey)

Capital: Ankara

Regime: Secular (Laik) capitalist republic since 1923.

Population: 71,553,551 in 2000

Polulation Density: 73 / km² (190 / sq mile)

Yearly income per capita : $3,500 says a webpage without giving a date.

Telephone Code: +90.

Time Zone: GMT + 02:00

Area: 814 578 sq km

Big Cities: Istanbul (The biggest!)Ankara,İzmir,Bursa,Antalya,Mugla,Eskisehir

Language(s):Turkish.

In the west many people can speak ENGLISH.Some people in the eastern and south eastern parts, depending their ethnic origions,can speak other languages but just in daily communications.Like lazish,Cherkezish,Kurdish...etc. Many of them do not even have a written form.(Only Kurdish may have a written form it is because some are trying to plant the seed of the terrorism into the brain of small children and to make some "clever!" foreigners believe that they have been doing it for freedom, human rights and bla..bla..bla.. Most of the Kurdish people are relatives with Turkish people and they live a happy life, they have good jobs and are very angry with those who are betraying everybody around them and causing violence and terror in Turkey and in the world.

Highest Mountain: Mt. Agri (5137 m)

President of the Republic: Ahmet Necdet Sezer (started at 16.MAY.2000 for 7 year)

Priminister: Recep Tayip Erdogan (next ellection will be around November 2007)

Government: Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi (Justice and Development Party) which is a conservative party with Islamic background

Currency: Yeni Türk Lirası(YTL) (New Turkish Lira)

Exchange Rate: US$1= 1,38 YTL

€1=1,67 YTL

Electricity: 220 V plugs only

Weights & Measures: Mertic sistem using, kilogram, gram, meter, kilometer, liter and such.

Country Name in other languages:Turkei,Turkey, Turkiye,Turquía,Turquie,Turchia turkkiye

Attractions and Things to See and Do

Istanbul, the worlds pearl! You need at least a week or something to get an idea of this city. I say to get an idea because it is so big and full of historical places,palaces, mosques, churches,synagogues, museums, ruins, old mansions, authentic cafes, restaurants, modern shopping malls,Forts, castles, worldwide famous Grand Bazaar, Covered Bazaar...etc. The Bosphorous itself is a never ending blue legend!

Cappadocia,famous for the volcanic rock formations and fairy chimenies, is also known as the early settlements of the Christians in Anatolia.While wandering around, Cappadocia definetely takes you away from this planet.

The Mount Nemrut! You should see the rock heads and the sunrise on this mountain.

Antalya is a southern city. The tourists' paradise! The sun,beautiful sandy beaches, wonderful sea, exiting sea sports,excellent holiday villages...etc.

Bodrum and Marmaris. Words are not enough to describe these two holiday resorts! They are both by the Eagean Sea.Gorgeous, bays, the best blue water in the world( for many people!),famous for "the blue journey" boat tours.

Efes and Seljuk: In this area, by the Eagean coast again, you can see The House of the Virgin Mary and The Artemis Temple, which is the one of the seven wonders of the world!

The Sumela Monestry,built in rocks surrounded by the greenest forest on the top of a mountain, is in Trabzon, a northern city by the Black Sea.

ünye is north of turkey .ünye is in black sea zone.it have ünye castle which was built from very old georgian king .it have king rock tomb.and it have ayanikola church in the sea as very little a island .now aynikola church's walls is there in the sea. and now it have old 3 churches in city centre.but this churches are house,...etc .and green trees and sea

Maps

For Roads

http://www.focusmm.com/turk_map.htm

http://www.turkish-media.com/y_h/turk_map.htm

http://www.mailgazete.com/turkharita/turkiye.htm

For Railways

http://www.tcdd.gov.tr/genelbilgi/harita.htm

Off the Beaten Path and Insider Tips

Do yourself a favour and go beyond the western tour loop that is the main theme offered in Turkey. Head East to Adiyaman and Kahta and climb up Mt Nemrut. Also East lake Van, Mount Arrarat and also Trabzone and Samsun up on the Black Sea Coast.

Suggested Itineraries

As long as your wallet or your visa can take you.... its a huge country with so much history and culture that changes region to region.... I am going back for my 3rd 3 month round and I am sure it wont be enough.

Transport

To come to Turkey, There are some cheap flights from Germany, Netherlands and Belgium.. Pls check prices from www.corendon.com and www.germanwings.com with these airlines you can come to Istanbul, İzmir, Ankara, Antalya, Eskisehir *********************************************************** HITCHIKING in Turkey Hitchiking in Turkey is not so dangerous known as a common thought.In summer time especially you can hh to south so easily. And a tip: if u re in Istanbul, go to a ferryboats which are carrying cars and going to bandirma or yalova ..so you can easily talk with drivers, families with cars..so Its very possible to find a car to anywhere..also petrol stations in highways are another possiblity.. *********************************************************** In Istanbul ferries are fantastic and cheap way to spend a day.. sometimes I just invent a reason to go somewhere so I can have some time on the sea... Sultanahmet is a major Tourist area.If you take a taxi, make sure meter is on and check the red lights for day and night rates. From Taksim and anywhere else you can find them make the most of Dolmus.. small vans.. cheap.. quick.. and go as soon as they fill up. To travel to the other cities, you can take a plane(to only the big cities!)a bus( to everywhere!) a train( to many places) and of course you can rent a car! or hitchhike... If I were you, I would first arrive in Istanbul and spend a week or two there and then take a taxi to the big Bus Terminal and get on the bus to wherever you want to go! People are very friendly to help and most of them can speak a little English.

Accommodation

You can get lovely clean single bed rooms for AUS$20 each for 2 people sharing inc breakfast. Yes and that means no sharing showers or anything!!!! WHAT THE HELL WAS I DOING IN SULTANAHMET ALL THAT TIME!!!!! ahhhhhhh Sultanahmet is a very popular area for tourists as there are the famous "The Blue Mosque" and "The Hagia Sophia" in that area and silk carpet shops and historical hotels as well. So as you appreciate, to spend a night might be a little expensive but you can always find a budget friendly hotels though! As somebody mentioned above, you can always find a lot of hotels at different choices and prices in Taksim,which is the center of the city and very close to the old Pera Street called Beyoğlu today.Actually Beyoğlu is a very interesting street to experience, I can say the heart of Taksim! Anyway, around Turkey, besides hotels you can also stay in " pansiyon",like renting a room in a house or let's say "a family stay" in a way. It is very popular in the Eagean coast and also in the southern part,especially in the touristic summer resorts. If you are visiting a village or a small town, do not get surprised if you are invited to spend a night or have dinner by the town people and they never charge you for that. You must have heard about the hospitality of the Turkish people I guess!

Food and Drinks and Local Specialties

Turkish cuisine is one of the richest of the world. Fusion of various cultures is also reflected in the food of the country. You can taste an extreme range of dishes which are mostly meat based. There are also very delicious vegetable based dishes of Aegean and Mediterranean food cultures. You can easily come across unique dishes from every region and even every single city. If you are not a vegeterian, don't leave the country without at least tasting the following: sish kebap, manti (Turkish ravioli lets say), gozleme (Turkish crepe), iskender (doner kebap as you may already know), lentil soup, kuru fasulye+pilav (beans and rice cooked in special Turkish way of cooking), and many more... Turkish deserts are worth tasting. However, be aware that they might be a little heavier than the tastes you are used to. So, don't eat too much but try baklava, kazandibi, and Turkish profiterol as for my advice. For more information and pics; http://www.turkishembassy.org/artculture/cuisine.htm and check http://www.about-turkey.com/cuisine/ are good sites to check.

Money and Costs

Currency, Turk Lirasi(Turkish Lira) has many zeros in use but the currency changed on 1 Jan 2005.The new money is Yeni Turk Lirasi(New Turkish Lira) and 6 zeros is thrown out. The currency of YTL is about: $/YTL = 1,30, €/YTL = 1,80

Exchanging Money, There are many Change offices.You can also exchange money from Post offices and banks.

Credit Cards, Major credit cards (Visa,Mastercard) can be used in most of the shops in big cities. But you should have some cash with you in case of absence of POS machines.

Tipping, You should tip the waiter. 1 or 2 YTL is enough for small receipt.But for big receipts the tip should be not less than 5 YTL

Bargaining, You should bargain in most shops.Since you are a tourist you have the right to bargain. Wait until you get the "last price" of the seller.

Costs... Depends on the thing you want to buy.Quality items are logically more expensive then disqualified.But Turkey is a cheap country and you can find anything at any price.. For more you should contact me

Visa and Documents and Embassies

Aussies just rock up at the airport but dont forget to pack the US$20 in ya wallet before the flight. And when you get off the plane dont go straight to the long lines of people.. keep walking past them to the zig zag line of people first and get the stamp BEFORE you line up. I found out the hard way since there are no signs nor anyone to tell you this. 1 1/2 hours later... *sigh* Americans have (I think) to pay US$100 since the US started charging Turks US$100 to visit America...

------Above was edited by electronicamonica on 09.12.2003-----

------Below was added by ecomod (Ozan K. Bekmezci)------------

All of the informantion below is for ordinary passport holders. For offial passports and for up-to-date listing, you can visit: http://www.mfa.gov.tr/grupf/fa/06.htm


Contries whose citizens does NOT need visa for Turkey:

    for 3 months: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (only passports of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region), Iceland, Iran, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Morocco, New Zealand, St. Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad-Tobago, Tunisia, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Uruguay, Vatican

    for 2 months: Bosnia- Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia

    for 1 months: Costa Rica, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan



Contries whose citizens can obtain sticker type visa at the BORDER for Turkey:

    for 3 months: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil,Canada, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, United States of America

    for 2 months: Albania, Belarus, Russia, Ukraine

    for 1 months: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Estonia, Greek Cypriot Administration, Hungary, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan.

    for 15 days: Georgia
----

citizens of other countries (if any exists) must obtain visa at home country or country of stay. For consular information you can visit:http://www.mfa.gov.tr/consular.htm

------End of the part added by Ecomod (Luqman)------------

Borders and Customs

Post and Communications and Internet

In Istanbul there heaps around Taxim (just look up!) and elsewhere I never had a problem finding one nearby but dont pay more than 1 500 000TL per hour which is likely in the Sultanahmet area. It can be more of a challenge in smaller places to find and naturally will be more but not alot. And beware.... check there speed..some are so slow you want to kill yourself just waiting for that 1 page to come up!

Questions and Answers or Forum

Here anything goes, you can post questions you have, and other members will answer you. If you do answer, please send the reply directly to the asking member as well, and try to integrate the information into the categories above. If too difficult to do, just answer right here and a volunteer will integrate in the future. Also, you can put thanks notes in here. Add new questions on top so they show up on the Travel Guide page. Please post messages not related to traveling or the aim of the Hospitality Club into the category Offtopic Messages.

Hospitality Club Meetings

Use this section to add more info if you organize meetings and events (you can add a short note on the main country page). You can also invite other members to parties, sports events, whenever you would like to meet up with someone.

Travelogues

Have you written a story about a trip to this country? Just paste your text in here and share your experience with other members.

Photos

all i have are some of mine for now.. http://f1.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/electronica_monica/album?.dir=/Turkey+2003&.src=ph&store=&prodid=&.done=http%3a//photos.yahoo.com/electronica_monica

Activities and Sports

Nightlife and Entertainment

The night life of istanbul is mostly densed in taksim,ortakoy,kadikoy and bostanci.if you are from EU,USA or another country having likely economy like those above, night life will be very satisfying for you.Also there are low budget bars or cafes expecially in taksim.The price for a beer differs between 2-3$ and it is good! Just look at the cross streets and i guarantee you that you will find what you need.And i bet you nightlife in istanbul is great as barcelona and amsterdam(not like just redlight).. if you need any help just feel free to contact HC members ;) Also if you interested in alternative and rock music Ankara's nights will be more suitable for you.Most of Turkish popular rock bands was playing in Ankara when they were students.

Population and People

Culture and Conduct or Local Customs

Language and Useful Phrases

Yes = Evet
No = Hayır
Thanks = Teşekkürler
Please = Lütfen
Cheers! = Şerefe!
How much does it cost? = Ne kadar tutuyor?
I don't understand = Anlamıyorum
Can you help me? = Yardım edebilir misiniz?
I'm lost = Kayboldum
The bill, please = Hesap, lütfen

Events and Holidays

Festivals, Sports, Concerts, Public Holidays...

Climate and When to Go

Geography

Environment and Flora and Fauna

Dangers and Warnings

Tourist Traps

Health

History

Government and Politics

Economy

GDP, GDP per head, Annual growth, inflation, Major Industries, Major trading partners...

Arts

Music, Literature, Theater, Movies ...

Media

Newspapers, Radio and TV, Magazines ...

Religion

Volunteer Opportunities and Work

Organized Tours

What to Bring or Packing List

Shopping

Books and Further Reading

Guidebooks, Travel, History and Politics
Please enter Amazon links to the books - we will put info on how to do this here shortly. This way we hope to get a bit of funding for the running of the club, if someone buys the books you recommend.

Other Information

Could not fit it into any of the categories above? Put it here...:-)

External Links

The Istanbul Couch Surfing Group

Turkey Travel Guide (L)

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Turkey (L)

Offtopic Messages

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