FAQ: t2turkey

# How to enter Turkey?

Turkey's primary international gateway by air is Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport . Ankara's Esenboğa Airport handles a comparatively limited selection of international flights, and there are also direct charters to Mediterranean resort hot spots like Antalya in the peak summer and winter seasons. In 2005 customs at Istanbul international airport was rearranged to the effect that one is now required to go through customs and "enter the country" there, rather than first travel to a regional destination and pass customs there. Luggage will generally travel to the final destination without further ado, but on occasion you may have to point it out to be sure it will be transported on. The information given by flight attendants in the incoming flight may not be adequate so until the procedure is changed (it is supposed to be only temporary) it is wise to inquire on Istanbul airport. Since one must pass security again for any inland flight, it is advisable to hurry and not spend too much time in transit.

# Do the travelers need the travel permits to visit Turkey?

Citizens of the following countries can get a sticker-type entry visa at the point of entry into Turkey for a fee:

Valid for three months:

  • UK (cost: US$20 / €15 / £10)
  • US (cost: US$20)
  • Canada (cost: €45)
  • Australia (cost: $20 / €15)
  • Ireland (cost: €10)
  • The Netherlands (cost: €10)
  • Italy (cost: €10)
  • Portugal (cost: €10)

Valid for two months:

  • Ukraine (cost: US$20)

Valid for one month:

  • Slovakia (cost: €10 or US$15)
  • Azerbaijan, Moldova, Russia (cost: €10 or US$20)
  • Serbia (cost: €10)
  • Norway (cost: €20)

New Zealand, Hong Kong and Iran citizens may have visa-free entry for stays up to three months without paying a fee.

German citizens don't need a visa for stays up to 90 days and can even enter with their national ID card (Personalausweis) or an expired passport/ID unless arriving at the non-Council of Europe land border crossings (i.e. from Iran, Iraq and Syria).

# Can anyone travel in Turkey by bus, if he/she can’t afford the car?

Turkey has a good long-distance bus network with air-conditioned buses, reserved seats and generally good service quality, at least with the big operators. There are now a few firms providing luxury buses with 1st class seats and service. Standard buses, however, have seats narrower than in economy class on airplanes. Buses are often crowded, and smoking is prohibited except by the driver. Cell-phone use is also restricted on many buses.

# What to pack for Turkey tours?

Sunglasses, sun lotions, chapped stick, hat.

# What is the weather like in Turkey?

The climate in Turkey has a vast diversity depending on the diverse topography and latitude. Aegean and Mediterranean coastal areas enjoy the typical Mediterranean climate. There is hardly a drop of rain during the sunny and hot summer (May to October). Winters are rainy in these regions, while it very rarely snows, with the exception of mountainous areas higher than 2000 metres of these regions, which get quite heavy snowfall. The region around the Sea of Marmara, including Istanbul, also has some kind of Mediterranean climate, but it can rain, albeit a little, during summer (as showers which tend to last for 15-20 minutes) and winters are colder than western and southern coasts. Snow is usual, although it doesn’t stay on the ground for long and limited to only a few days every winter.

# What is the best timing for Turkey tours?

Generally speaking, the period from June to September is the best timing.  

# What medical preparations the travelers need to make before Turkey tours?

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (Kırım-Kongo kanamalı ateşi in Turkish, shortly KKKA) is a serious viral disease and transmitted by a tick (kene) species. It can kill the infected person in a very short time, usually within three or four days. This disease has claimed more than 20 lives in Turkey within the past two years. The biggest risk is in the rural parts (not urban centres) of Tokat, Corum, Yozgat, Amasya, and Sivas provinces, all situated in an area where disease-carrying tick thrives because of the area’s location between the humid climate of maritime Black Sea Region and arid climate of Central Anatolia. Authorities recommend to wear light coloured clothing which makes distinguishing a tick clinged to your body easier. It’s also recommended to wear long trousers rather than shorts if you plan to walk through dense and/or tall grass areas (the usual habitat for ticks). If you see a tick on your body or clothing, in no means try to pull it out since this may cause the tick’s head (and its mouth where it carries the virus) sticking inside your skin. Instead, go to the nearest hospital immediately to seek urgent expert aid. Being late to show up in hospital (and to diagnose) is number one killer in this disease. Symptoms are quite like that of flu and a number of other illnesses, so doctor should be informed about the possibility of Crim.-Cong. hemorr. fever and be shown the tick if possible.

# What are the norms if I contact with the Turks?

Although Turks are very tolerant and friendly; expressions and attitudes insulting, defaming or making light of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the Turkish flag, the Turkish customs and traditions, and the Turkish Republic are considered offensive and are also illegal.

# What should I keep in mind when I contact with the Turks?

  • Do not photo them without permission, please show respect to them !
  • Do not talk about the sensitive topics like political or t religious matters!

# How much should I tip?

A 10% of the total bill or simply to round up to the next lira for smaller purchases is welcome, though this is not a custom to be strictly followed. Tipping ceremony is performed like this, especially in the restaurants and cafes: first you ask for the bill, the waiter/ress brings the bill inside a folder, and puts it on the table and goes away. You put the money into the folder (with the bill), and after a few minutes later waiter comes back to collect the folder. A few minutes more later, waiter comes again with the same folder in his/her hands and leaves it once more on the table. This time there is change in it. You leave the amount of change you think waiter deserves and close the folder..

# Do the travelers need to ask the permissions before taking the photos of Turks?
It is always good to ask permission first. Turkeyans are very friendly. However, it might arouse the upset feelings of local Turkeyans by photo-taking without asking the permission first.

# Is it easy to get the cash money from ATMs in Turkey?

ATMs ask whether to provide instructions in English or in Turkish (and sometimes some other languages, too) as soon as you insert a foreign card (or a Turkish card which is not the operating bank’s own). When withdrawing money from ATMs, if the ATM in question does not belong to the bank that you already have an account in, they charge some percentage (generally 1%-one per cent) of what you withdraw from your account each time. This percentage is higher for advance withdrawing with your credit card.

# What are the commonly used phone numbers for emergency in Turkey?

The following phone calls can be directly made from any other telephones in Turkey once the emergency happens.
  • Police emergency: 155
  • Medical emergency: 112

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