A country of sun and history, Turkey forms a bridge between Europe, Asia and Middle East because of its geographical location and its culture. The mainland Anatolia, has witnessed the mass migration of numerous people, which has shaped the course of its history. The home to countless civilizations, Anatolia has developed a unique synthesis of cultures, each with its own distinct identity, yet each linked to its predecessors through insoluble threads.
Turkey extends over 780,580 km2 and has a population of more than 70 million. 15 million people live in Istanbul. The capital city of Turkey is Ankara, which has a population of 4 million. The official language is Turkish. Latin alphabet is used in Turkey.
Istanbul - City At The Crossroads
Istanbul is a natural gateway, offering a friendly welcome and genuine hospitality. It is a metropolis proud of its rich history and unrivaled natural beauty spread on two continents, Europe and Asia, divided by the Bosphorus.
The city has been a capital for Roman, Byzantium, and Ottoman Empires. It is attractive both for the beauty of the surrounding landscape and for its historical treasures.
Beneath the unchanging skyline of Istanbul's domes and minarets you find the continual bustle and movement of the crowds, the rumbling of vehicles along the ancient cobbled streets mingling with the horns of shipping in the busy ports, all revealing magnificent vitality.
|How To Travel To Istanbul|
Istanbul is served by more than 50 airlines from all parts of the world. Travel time to Istanbul from all major cities of Europe is between 2 - 3 hours.
The national carrier of Turkey, Turkish Airlines (THY) has branches almost in all of the European countries. For detailed information please visit their web-site
Citizens of some countries are required to obtain visa before arrival and some may obtain it at the airport upon arrival. The most updated visa information and application can be followed from the e-visa link below;
All personal belongings may be imported freely into the country. Importation, use and trade of narcotics are illegal and subject to severe punishments. Also there are very strict rules on the export of antiquities. Import limits include 200 cigarettes and 150 cc alcohol
A current valid international vaccination certificate is requested from those participants coming from infected areas.
It is highly recommended to check this with the diplomatic mission of Turkey in your country or the airline company.
The official language is Turkish. In areas frequented by tourists, it is easy to find many bilingual citizens.
It is located in a Mediterranean and sub-continental climate zone experiencing four seasons regularly. Summers are hot and humid in coastal areas, hot and dry in the interior Anatolia plateau, and the highlands of the East Anatolia. Black Sea region is usually rainy except in the mid-summer. Winters are snowy in the East and the interior regions. Mediterranean and Aegean coasts are usually sunny and mild in the winter and receive occasional rain falls in the spring and fall.
Turkey is two hours ahead of GMT.
The electric current is 220V AC with a frequency of 50 Hertz. European standard plugs with two round pins are used.
|Banking And Currency|
Turkey’s national currency is Turkish Lira TL
Banknotes; ,5,10,20,50, 100 and 200 TL
Coins (Kurus); 1,5,10,25,50 New Kurus and 1 New Lira
Most Turkish Banks change traveler’s cheques as well as cash. The best place to change cash is at a "döviz bürosu", a foreign exchange office. Most of the time they give better exchange rates for cash than banks. Rates of exchange are better in Turkey than outside the country, so it is better to change a minimal amount of money before traveling to Turkey.
Banking hours are Monday to Friday from 08.30 to 12.00 hrs and 13.30 to 17.00 hrs. Most "döviz bürosu" are open from Monday to Saturday from 09.00 - 20.00 hrs.
Major credit cards like VISA, American Express, MasterCard are accepted in most hotels, restaurants, and shops.
Turkish Telecom Inc. is the only telecom service provider. All hotels have direct dial telephone systems in the rooms.
Turkey has 2 GSM operators (Vodafone and Turkcell). Please consult your local GSM operator to find out if they have a roaming agreement with Turkish Operators.
Post offices are open for general business between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday to Saturday.
Some hot public areas and districts are provided with free-wifi access by the local municipalities as well as by the vendors and restaurants.
|Sizes And Measures|
Turkey uses continental European sizes for clothes and shoes. Food and drink are sold in metric measures.
|What And Where To Eat|
Turkish Cuisine is said to be one of the best in the world. Istanbul has many alternatives to offer from the world. Chinese, Mexican, Japanese and traditional Turkish cuisine. You may choose from modern and elegant restaurants or smaller ones filled with local color and flavor.
|Shopping In Istanbul|
Istanbul is a shopper's paradise for carpets, leather goods, jewels, gold, and fashion. If you prefer to do your entire shopping in one roof, head for one of the city's modern shopping malls, which offer a variety of international and Turkish brand goods.
Shops are open, in general, from 9am to 8pm Monday to Saturday; The Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar open their gates at 8:30am and close at 7pm. Big shopping malls open from 10am to 10pm seven days a week. Shops do not close for lunch.
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