About Turkey

About Turkey

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 

Health Regulations

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. 

Credit Cards

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. 



Did You Know That..?

Turks are the descendants of nomads from central Asia and the refugees from the Balkans and the Caucasus, brought together in the Turkish Republic. Most of the Turks are Muslims, following the prayers of Islam, but living in a secular state. They are also the inheritors of the Ottoman Empire and the democracy of Ataturk and the West...

Geographically, Anatolia is Asian Turkey while Thrace is European.

The only city in the world located on two continents is Istanbul, which has been the capital of three great empires, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman for more than 2000 years.

The number of archeological excavations going on in Turkey every year is at least 150.

The oldest known human settlement is in Çatalhöyük, Turkey (7500 BC).

Temple of Artemis (Ephesus) and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus (Bodrum), two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, are in Turkey.

According to legend, Noah's Ark landed on Ağrı Dağı (Mount Ararat) in eastern Turkey.

The last meal on Noah's Ark, a pudding with nearly 20 ingredients, is still served throughout Turkey is known as "Aşure".

Abraham was born in Şanlıurfa in southeastern Turkey.

Anatolia is the birthplace of historic legends, such as Omer (the poet), King Midas (he who turned everything to gold), Herodotus (the father of history), and St. Paul the Apostle.

Homer was born in Izmir, on the west coast of Turkey, and he depicted Troy in his epic "The Iliad".

The famous Trojan war took place in western Turkey, around the site where a wooden statue of the Trojan Horse rests today.

The Amazons originated in Turkey's northeastern region.

Aesop, famous for his fables and parables, was born in Anatolia, Turkey.

Anatolia is the home of the first known beauty contest, judged by Paris, with Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena as leading participants.

Anatolia was producing wine as early as 4,000 B.C.

Alexander the Great conquered a large territory in what is now Turkey and cut the Gordion knot in the Phrygian capital Gordium, not far from Turkey's present-day capital Ankara.

Anatolia is the origin of the names of Paris, Philadelphia, and Europe.

Julius Ceaser proclaimed his celebrated words "Veni, Vidi, Vici" (I came, I saw, I conquered) in Amasya, Turkey when he defeated the Pontus, a formidable kingdom in the Black Sea region of Turkey.

Part of Turkey's southwestern shore was a wedding gift that Mark Anthony gave to Cleopatra.

The first church built by man (St. Peter's Church) is in Antioch (Antakya), Turkey.

St. John, St. Nicholas, St. Paul, and St. Peter have all lived and prayed in southern Turkey.

St. Nicholas, who became popular as Father Christmas, was born in Demre on Turkey's Mediterranean coast, and his church still stands there.

The last home of the Virgin Mary is in Selçuk.

Early Christians escaping Roman persecution nearly 2000 years ago sheltered in Capodaccia in Central Anatolia.

Anatolia is the location of Seven Churches of Asia.

The First Ecumenical Council was held in Iznik, Turkey.

The first synagogue on this land was built in 1324 with the permission of Sultan Orhan - founder of the Ottoman Empire; to support Jewish community, suffering under Byzantine Empire.

Lenardo da Vinci drew designs for a bridge over the Golden Horn in Istanbul. It was never built.

Jews were invited to this land;

in 1376 from Hungary,
in 1394 from France,
in 1420 from Venice,
in 1492 from Spain,
in 1527 from Hungary,
in 1537 from Italy,
in 1542 from Bohemia,
in 1881 from Russia,
in 1917 from Russia,
in 1933 from Germany, which continued in the second world war, when they were forced to leave their homelands.

This geography has been a real home for Jews, Christians, and also for non-Turkish Muslims for centuries.

Turks gave the Dutch their famous tulips.

Suleyman the Magnificent (the famous Ottoman Sultan) was a poet who wrote over 3,000 poems some of them criticizing the greed of mankind.

Turks introduced coffee to Europe.

The most valuable silk carpet in the world is in the Mevlana Museum, Konya, with 144 knots per sq. Cm.

Hezarfen Ahmed Çelebi was the first man who flew a significant distance across the Bosphorus using wings.

Istanbul's Robert College (built-in 1863) is the oldest American school outside the United States.

Istanbul has a 550-year-old covered shopping mall of 64 streets, 4,000 shops, 22 entrances, and 25,000 workers, - the famous "Grand Bazaar". It is the first mall ever built.

The very young Turkish economy is the 14th largest in the world according to GNP readings.

Turkey is one of the richest countries for water resources, as well as for bor minerals.

Turkey has been a member of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) since 1952.

Turkey provides 70% of world hazelnuts. The nut in your chocolate bar was most probably grown in Turkey.

Turkey has had the women's right to elect and to be elected even before Switzerland.

Turkey is the only democratic, secular country in the world, with a majority of the Muslim population.

Turkey's motto has been, "Peace at home, peace on the world" designed and adapted by the father of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk since the 1920s.