Please note that it is strictly forbidden to export antiquities or
antiques from Turkey and there are severe penalties for those who
attempt to do so. In order to export such items legally it is
necessary to obtain a certificate from a directorate of a
Family is very important to Turkish people, and you will find
that children are welcomed everywhere, which makes for a very
relaxing and enjoyable holiday. It is perfectly normal for even
very young children to eat out in the evening with their parents.
Many restaurants do provide high chairs, and those that don't seem
to be very good at improvising. Formula milk and nappies are easily
available, although if you want a specific brand, then it is
probably best to take it with you. It is not always easy to find
baby food in jars, but restaurants and hotels are very
accommodating and will usually be pleased to puree food for you.
Again, if your child is used to a specific brand it may be better
to take it with you. UHT milk is widely available in small cartons,
with a straw, which is useful for toddlers and older children. Most
hotels will provide cots if these are requested in advance. These
can vary quite widely in standard, however, so it is a good idea to
check in advance what type of cot is being provided and whether or
not it is suitable for your child - some have lower sides than
those common in the UK, for example, so are fine for a baby but not
suitable for a more mobile toddler. Children's car seats are still
seen as a luxury item in Turkey but most tour operators and car
hire companies will be able to provide them for you on request. You
should not, however, assume that this will automatically be the
case. Many of the larger hotels have children's clubs and are able
to arrange babysitting services. There are also some tour operators
who provide these services.
In general, Turks and Turkey have a welcoming, relaxed approach
to children and will go out of their way to be accommodating and
helpful. As long as you are flexible you should have no
Turkish Lira is available in the following denominations:
Banknotes: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 ,100 &200 TL Coins: 1, 5, 10, 25
& 50 Kuruş and 1 TL
You can obtain currency before travelling to Turkey or on arrival.
Exchange rates are usually slightly better in Turkey and all
international airports have exchange facilities. Usually, cash can
be exchanged without charging commission in exchange offices, banks
or hotels. Please note that Scottish notes are not accepted in
Turkey. Travellers' cheques can be exchanged in banks only. Cash
point machines (ATM) are available in most areas, which accept
major UK credit and debit cards and give instructions in English.
It may be a good idea to inform your bank in advance that you are
travelling to Turkey as some will automatically put a stop on cards
after the first usage in an attempt to combat fraud. Exchange rates
are published daily in Turkish newspapers. If you are planning to
exchange currency back from TL before leaving the country, or are
making a major purchase, which may need to be declared to customs,
you will need to keep your transaction receipts in order to show
that the currency has been legally exchanged.
Please note that the following information is intended to give
an idea about customs regulations, and our portal does not accept
any responsibility for inaccuracy or mis-information. For further
and accurate information please visit: www.turkish-consulate.org.uk
It is permitted to bring the following items into Turkey as duty
Wines, Tobacco & Other Luxury Items
EU Regulations applied.
In order to avoid any problems when leaving the country it is
recommended that you register valuable items with the customs
office on entry to Turkey. All personal belongings and articles
made of precious stones or metals (with no commercial purposes)
worth under US$ 15,000 may be brought into and taken out of the
country. Jewellery worth more than this amount may only be taken
out of the country providing it has been registered on entry or
that you can prove that it was purchased in Turkey with legally
Two partitioned camping tent; one diving suit for underwater
diving sports (The quality and efficiency of the suit to be
determined by the undersecretary.); glider (a pair); one boat; one
surfboard with sailing equipment for water sports; flippers (one
pair); other personal belongings one apiece (except for sea
motorcycle and sledge); chess set; Draughts set; five packs of
Beds belonging to a patient; motorised and non-motorised
wheelchair; drugs for personal treatment; gas mask and similar
protective clothing (maximum 2 pieces).
For valuable gifts and souvenirs, such as a carpet, proof of
purchase is necessary, together with receipts showing that any
currency used in its purchase has been legally exchanged.
Please note that it is strictly forbidden to export antiques from
Turkey. Minerals can only be exported with a special document.
Up to US$ 5,000 worth of Turkish or foreign currency can be
taken out of the country, providing that it can be shown that the
currency has been obtained from authorised banks. Larger amount of
foreign or Turkish currency must be transferred abroad through
banks. Cash brought into the country to be exchanged for export out
of Turkey must be declared on entry.
If you have any queries relating to any special needs for your
holiday, it is best to check direct with us and/ or your tour
operator before booking your holiday. The resorts which are located
in relatively flat areas, and are, therefore, better suited to
wheelchair users are: Marmaris, Ifmeler, Dalyan, Fethiye/ Calig
Beach, Side. Anyone who has difficulty in walking should certainly
avoid resorts on steep hills such as Kalkan and Turunc. Obviously,
hotel locations vary so do check before booking. Some of the newer
and larger hotels have rooms specifically designed for wheelchair
users, however, even where hotels do not have specific facilities
they will usually try their best to be helpful by, for example,
allocating a ground floor room. Many Turkish resorts and cities are
not planned for wheelchair access, which can make life difficult,
however, you will find that Turks always try their best to be
helpful and will gladly improvise to find a solution.
You can drive in Turkey with EU, US or International driving
licence. You should have your driving licence, your passport and
insurance documents of the vehicle with you in the car at all
times, as you will need it if you are involved in an accident. All
of the major international car rental companies, as well as a
number of local ones, have offices at airports and all major
Driving in Turkey is on the right, as in continental Europe.
Turkish road signs conform to the International Protocol on Road
Signs and archaeological and historic sites are indi¬cated by
yellow signs. Turkey has a good network of well-maintained roads.
There is a 50 km per hour speed limit within urban centres and 90
km outside urban centres (120 km on Motorways). Petrol stations are
fairly easy to find and on main highways, they are often open 24hrs
and have restaurants and other facilities attached. Unleaded
(kurşunsuz) petrol is easily available. Garages for repairs are
often concentrated on certain streets within a town or can be found
If you are planning on driving to Turkey, as well as your
passport, you will need to take your international driving licence,
car registration documents and international green card (insurance
card) with the TR sign clearly visible (NB: This can be purchased
on arrival at the border). You can bring your own car into the
country for up to six months. If you wish to keep you car in Turkey
for more than six months, you are liable to pay import tax.
Please note that bringing into or out of the country, together
with consumption of, marijuana and other narcotics is strictly
forbidden and is subject to heavy punish¬ment. If you have
prescribed medication, which you need to take on holiday with you,
you will need a doctor's note and/ or a copy of your prescription
which can be sent to our office for translation. Please callour
office for further details.
E Electricity • Emergencies, Police, Medical Treatment see
Useful Numbers, • Exports see Customs Regulations
The mains voltage for electricity is 220V and 50Hz. Central
European type wall socket (two-pin plugs) is standard in
Local ferry services operate from Istanbul across the Sea of
Marmara. For details visit www.ido.com.tr
The other ferry services and routes are as follows:
Between Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern
Alanya - Girne;
Mersin - Gazimagosa (Famagusta).
Taşucu - Girne (Kyrenia);
Between Turkey and the Greek Islands:
Ayvalık - Lesbos;
Bodrum - Kos;
Çeşme - Chios;
Datça - Symi.
Kuşadası - Samos;
Marmaris - Rhodes
Between Turkey and Italy:
Çeşme - Ancona
Çeşme - Brindisi
Filming in Turkey
If you are planning to film in Turkey for commercial or
broadcast purposes, you will need to obtain the relevant permission
in advance. The process usually takes a minimum of two weeks.
Members of the Press do not need filming permission or filming
visas to follow news stories in Turkey. They need to inform the
Press Office of the Turkish Embassy which will inform the Press
Office at the Prime Minister's Office, prior to going to
The official language is Turkish. English and German are widely
spoken in major cities and tourist resorts, and you will find that
most Turks welcome the opportunity to practise their language
skills and will go out of their way to be helpful. Foreign visitors
who attempt to speak even a few words of Turkish, however, will
definitely be rewarded with even warmer smiles. It is not an easy
language to learn, however, it does have one huge advantage in that
it is completely phonetic. Unlike English, each letter of the
alphabet has only one sound and is always pronounced in exactly the
same way, apart from in combination with 'y' or 'g'. Even foreign
words used in Turkish are adapted into Turkish phonetic spellings,
which can offer some clues towards pronunciation - try saying the
following out loud: ketçap, taksi, futbol, ofsayt. There is no 'q',
'w' or 'x' in Turkish and there are some additional characters. The
accent usually falls on the first syllable in the word. The
following should give you a rough guide to pronunciation:
a a cross between a long and short
'a' somewhere between the 'a' in
'man' and the 'a' sound in 'are'
c pronounced 'j' as in 'jam'
ç pronounced 'ch' as in 'church'
e a short sound as in 'egg'
g a hard 'g' as in'go'
ğ this character is silent but elongates the
vowel to either side of it
ı pronounced 'er' in 'number'
i a short sound as in 'ink'
o pronounced as in 'off'
ö pronounced as in the 'or' sound (with a silent 'r')
s is a hissing sound as in 'seven'
ş pronounced 'sh' as in 'shut'
u pronounced 'oo' as in 'cool'
ü pronounced 'u' as in 'fuse'
y is generally used to separate vowels and
creates some slightly different sounds in
'ay' pronounced 'eye';
'ey' pronounced as in 'they';
'iy' pronounced 'ee'
Living and/ or working In Turkey
If you wish to stay in Turkey longer than the three month period
allowed to tourists or to set up a business with or without a
Turkish partner, you will need a residence visa. You will need to
apply to the Turkish Consulate in London for your visa and it is
advised that you submit all documents relevant to your application
at least eight weeks before your intended date of departure. Your
application will be referred to the relevant Turkish authorities
for their approval.
After obtaining the visa, you are required to register with the
local police within a month following your arrival in Turkey in
order to obtain a residence permit. If you wish to extend your
permit for a further period, you should apply to the same police
headquarters before the permit expires. Household items may be
taken into Turkey through a system called "temporary import"
provided that the validity of the residence permit is at least one
year. For details of the relevant regulations please contact the
Office of the Finance and Customs Counsellor at the Turkish Embassy
in London which can also provide information on the regulations
concerning the temporary import of a car into Turkey.
Those who wish to apply for a work permit will need to supply
various additional documents to the Turkish Consulate including
proof of a job offer, normally in the form of a letter from the
You will need to pay for any medical treatment which you receive
in Turkey. For this reason it is advisable to take out medical
insurance before travelling. It is not difficult to find
English-speaking doctors in all but the most remote areas. There
are also foreign run hospitals in many of the larger towns and
resorts. There are pharmacies in most places with trained
pharmacists who are able to offer advice on minor illnesses.
For further information please visit: www.healthinturkey.org
The major GSM operators in Turkey are Turkcell, Vodafone and
Avea. You can use your mobile phone in Turkey if your provider has
enabled international roaming. However if you intend to stay for a
long time in the country or make several calls, it may be
preferable to buy a local prepaid SIM card. Take your mobile phone
and passport to a Turkish mobile phone shop where your new SIM will
be registered along with your handset's IMEI number and your
personal information. (Unregistered phones will be blocked and
unable to receive or make calls.) Turkey has very wide mobile
coverage networks so you shouldn't have any problems in the main
cities and tourist resorts.
Most museums and palaces are open every day of the week except
Mondays. There are a few notable exceptions: Topkapi Palace is
closed on Tuesdays instead of Mondays; Dolmabahce Palace is closed
Mondays and Thursdays and the Chora Church is closed on
For further information on museums visit:
There are two types of police in Turkey - civil police polis and
military police jandarma. In many areas you will find that there is
just one or the other, and that both fulfil the same function. In
some places, there are also specialist tourist police. If you need
to report a crime you should go to the nearest police station to
where the crime occurred. In tourist areas there will usually be
someone available who speaks English or you can request a
translator. You will usually be asked to submit and sign a
statement. It is advisable to request a copy of any documents in
case you need them at a later stage.
Post Office Services
Turkish post offices are easily recognizable by the yellow and
black 'PTT' signs. Major post offices are open from 08.00-00.00
Monday to Saturday and from 09.00-19.00 on Sundays. Smaller offices
are open from 8.30-12.30 and from 13.30 - 17.30 and may be closed
As well as selling stamps and telephone tokens and cards, some
post offices will exchange cash as well as international postal
orders and travellers' cheques.
There are two types of public holiday in Turkey: those which are
decided by the government and which fall on the same day each year;
and the religious festivals which change according to the lunar
calendar and, therefore, fall on different dates each year.
On public holidays, banks and government offices are closed. In
general, life in seaside resorts is not affected as these are the
times when Turkish people also go on holiday. Shops and businesses
away from tourist areas may close, however, so you should bear this
in mind when travelling inland or to city areas.
New Years Day, 1 January
National Sovereignty and Children's Day, 23 April
Ataturk Commemoration and Youth Sports Day, 19 May
Victory Day, 30 August
Republic Day, 28 (half day) 29 October
Şeker Bayramı (Eid)
This is the festival which falls at the end of Ramazan, a period
of fasting. Traditionally, sweets are exchanged as gifts. In more
rural and conservative areas, you may find it more difficult to eat
or drink in public during Ramazan period.
Kurban Bayramı (Great Eid)
Traditionally, a sheep or cow is sacrificed at this time and the
meat distributed to the needy and friends, family and
The preferred means of transport in Turkey is by coach, and the
air-conditioned intercity coach services are comfortable, fast and
inexpensive. Each town has a bus station (otogar), where each bus
company has its own office, where you can make reservations and buy
tickets. Alternatively, you can buy tickets from local travel
There are good services, between Istanbul and Ankara and the
overnight sleeper services are both comfortable and convenient. You
can buy tickets and make reservations at local train stations or
through travel agents based in Turkey.
Within towns and between local villages, there are local bus
services as well as the dolmus services. These are shared taxis,
usually a minibus, and sometimes a large car, which operate along
set routes, picking up and setting down passengers as they go.
There is a set fare depending on how far you are travelling and you
pay this to the driver. They are an inexpensive way of getting
around. The name "dolmus" literally means 'stuffed' - from the fact
that they do not have a set timetable but wait until they are full
before setting off.
All students and young people holding ISIC, IYC and IYHF cards
or travelling through member organisations of BITS, FIYTO or ISTC
may take advantage of the youth holiday opportunities available in
Taxis are easy to spot as they are all bright yellow in colour.
All have a meter, and you should ensure that this is switched on at
the beginning of your journey. There are two tariffs 'gunduz' for
journeys which take place during the daytime and 'gece' for those
which take place at night, which are charged at a higher rate. If
you are travelling outside the city boundaries it is usual to agree
a fixed rate in advance.
Turkey is GMT+2, that is to say two hours ahead of the UK and
one hours of the Central Europe.
U Useful Numbers
While planning your trip to Turkey do not forget to check your
passport if it is valid for at least 90 days. Depending on your
nationality, most probably your stay as a tourist is limited up to
3 months (for one entrance). For tourist visas, there is no need to
apply in advance or to fill in any forms. If you are flying to
Turkey, you will buy your visa at the Turkish airport on arrival.
You will see the visa desk, situated just before passport control.
You must buy your visa, which will be stamped on your passport by
the official, before you join the queue for passport control. The
visa for UK passport holders currently costs £10 and must be paid
for with a Sterling note. The visa for other EU state-passport
holders currently costs € 10 and must be paid for with a Euro note.
Visas are multiple entries and are valid for three months. Each
passport-holder, including infants, must purchase a visa. With
tourist visas you will not have the right to take up paid or unpaid
employment or to reside, or to study (including student exchange
program) or to establish yourself in business in Turkey.
Although tap water is chlorinated and, therefore, safe to drink,
bottled water is recommended, which is readily and affordably
For general information on the climate and up-to-date weather
forecasts visit www. meteor.gov.tr.