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Turkey country information

Turkey map
Republic of Turkey
Area: 783,562 sq km
Population: 70,586,256
Population density: 93 per sq km
Capital: Ankara
Passport & Visa
Passport Required?
British Yes
Australian Yes
Canadian Yes
USA Yes
Other EU 1
Visa Required?
British 2
Australian 2
Canadian 2
USA 2
Other EU 2/3/4

Passports

Passport valid for at least six months from date of arrival in Turkey required by all nationals referred to in the chart above, except:
1. nationals of Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands and Spain, who can enter with a national ID card (which must have a validity of one year).

Visas

Sticker-type entry visas: Tourists and business visitors from the following countries do require visas and can obtain a sticker-type entry visa at the point of entry for a fee (prices are dependent on nationality):
(a) 2. Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Malta, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, the UK* and USA for stays not exceeding 90 days;
(b) 3. Greek Cypriot Administrative Region, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovak Republic for stays not exceeding 30 days.
Except 4. Nationals of Bulgaria who do not require a visa for stays up to 90 days, but do require a visa for transit and for entry at certain points in Turkey; check with consulate.

Visa Note

(a) *British National Overseas passport holders should contact the visa section of the consulate general before travelling. (b) Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements.

Types of Visa and Cost

British passport holders can obtain a tourist visa either at the port of entry in Turkey for 10 or from the consulate general in the UK for 74. Single-entry (six months): 66. Single-entry (one year): 207. Multiple-entry (up to five years): 207. Single transit: 66. Study: 66 (six months) or 207 (one year). Work: 207 (one year, plus work permit document fee). These prices are provided by The Consulate General for the Republic of Turkey in London; prices may vary according to nationality.

Validity

Single- and multiple-entry: up to six months or one year. Multiple-entry: up to five years. Transit: six months. Work: one year. Study: six months or one year.

Applications to:

Consulate (or consular section at embassy). Applicants must pre-book an appointment with the relevant consulate. An online appointment system is available for The Consulate General for the Republic of Turkey in London (website: www.turkishconsulate.org.uk/en/visa ). Travel agencies can also make visa applications.

Working Days Required

Usually three, but dependent on nationality of applicant and type of visa. Some applications may be referred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara, which may take much longer (minimum six to eight weeks).

Note tour.tk: cost of visa Turkey:
Australia:
Ordinary and official passport holders are required to have visa to enter Turkey. Ordinary passport holders can obtain three month-multiple entry visas at the Turkish border gates.
3 Months 20 $ - 15 €
Belgium:
Ordinary passport holders are required to have visa to enter Turkey. They can obtain three-month multiple entry visas at the Turkish border gates. Official passport holders are exempt from visa for their travels up to 90 days.
3 Months 15 $ - 10 €
Canada:
Ordinary and official passport holders are required to have visa to enter Turkey. Ordinary passport holders can obtain three-month multiple entry visas at the Turkish border gates.
3 Months 60 $ - 45 €
France:
Ordinary and official passport holders are exempt from visa for their travels up to 90 days.
no fee
Germany:
Ordinary and official passport holders are exempt from visa for their travels up to 90 days.
no fee
Greece:
Ordinary and official passport holders are exempt from visa for their travels up to 90 days.
no fee
Ireland:
Ordinary and official passport holders are required to have visa to enter Turkey. Ordinary passport holders can obtain three-month multiple entry visas at the Turkish border gates.
3 Months 15 $ - 10 €
Israel:
Ordinary and official passport holders are exempt from visa for their travels up to 90 days.
no fee
Italy:
Ordinary and official passport holders are exempt from visa for their travels up to 90 days.
no fee
Japan:
Ordinary and official passport holders are exempt from visa for their travels up to 90 days.
no fee
Netherlands:
Ordinary passport holders are required to have visa to enter Turkey. They can obtain three month-multiple entry visas at the Turkish border gates. Official passport holders are exempt from visa for their travels up to 90 days.
3 Months 15 $ - 10 €
New Zealand:
Ordinary and official passport holders are exempt from visa for their travels up to 90 days.
no fee
Norway:
Ordinary passport holders are required to have visa to enter Turkey. They can obtain three month-multiple entry visas at the Turkish border gates and stay in Turkey up to 90 days within 6 months starting from the first entry date. Official passport holders are exempt from visa for their travels up to 90 days.
3 Months 60 $ - 40 €
South Africa:
Ordinary passport holders are required to have visa to enter Turkey. They can obtain one month multiple entry visas at the Turkish border gates. Official passport holders are exempt from visa for their travels up to 30 days.
1 Month 15 $ - 10 €
South Korea:
Ordinary and official passport holders are exempt from visa for their travels up to 90 days.
no fee
Spain:
Ordinary passport holders are required to have visa to enter Turkey. They can obtain three month-multiple entry visas at the Turkish border gates. Official passport holders are exempt from visa for their travels up to 90 days.
3 Months 15 $ - 10 €
Sweden:
Ordinary and official passport holders are exempt from visa for their travels up to 90 days.
no fee
Switzerland:
Ordinary and official passport holders are exempt from visa for their travels up to 90 days.
no fee
United Kingdom:
Ordinary and official passport holders are required to have visa to enter Turkey. Ordinary passport holders can obtain three month-multiple entry visas at the Turkish border Gates. “British National Overseas ( BNO )” or “British Protected Persons ( BPP )” passport holders are NOT issued visas on the Turkish border Gates They must apply to the Turkish representations abroad in order to get visa ( Hong Kong citizens holding BNO passport can obtain visa on the border gates ).
3 Months 20 $ - 15 € - 10 £
USA:
Ordinary and official passport holders are required to have visa to enter Turkey. They can obtain three month-multiple entry visas at the Turkish border gates.
3 Months 20 $ - 15 €
 
for a full report: Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2009, country listing
and visa fees: Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2009, visa fees
Getting there

Getting There by Air

The national airline is Turkish Airlines (TK) (website: www.turkishairlines.com ).

Approximate Flight Times

From London to Istanbul is 3 hours 45 minutes and from New York is 9 hours 50 minutes.

Main Airports

Ankara (ESB) (Esenboga) (website: www.esenbogaairport.com ) is 33km (21 miles) northeast of the city. To/from the airport: Havas buses (website: www.havas.net ) travel every 30 minutes between the airport and the city centre from 0430 to 2400 (journey time - 50 minutes). Taxis are also available. Facilities: Duty-free shops, bank/bureau de change, restaurants and bars.

Istanbul (IST) (Atatürk formerly Yesilköy) (website: www.ataturkairport.com ) is 24km (15 miles) west of the city (journey time - 30 to 50 minutes). To/from the airport: Havas runs a regular bus service between the airport and the city centre. Taxis are available. Facilities: Duty-free shops, bank/bureau de change, bar, restaurant and car hire.

Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) (website: www.sgairport.com ) is 40km (25 miles) from Istanbul, on the Asian side. To/from the airport: There are shuttle bus services to Taksim Square in the city (journey time - 45 minutes) and to Atatürk International Airport (journey time - 60 to 70 minutes). Taxis are available 24 hours. Facilities: Duty-free shops, bank, ATMs, business centre and restaurants/cafes.

Izmir (IZM) (Adnan Menderes) (website: www.adnanmenderesairport.com ) is 18km (11 miles) south of the city. To/from the airport: Havas buses meet domestic flights and travel hourly from the city centre (journey time - 50 to 60 minutes). Facilities: Bank/bureau de change, ATMs, duty-free shops, bar, restaurant and car hire.

There are other international airports at Adana, Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman and Trabzon.
Departure Tax
US$50 is levied only on Turkish nationals not resident overseas departing from Turkey.

Getting There by Water

Main ports: Antalya, Bandirma, Çesme, Istanbul, Izmir, Marmaris and Mersin.

To/from Italy:
Marmara Lines (tel: 49 7031 866 010, sales agent in Germany; website: www.marmaralines.com ) operates direct ferries in the summer from Ancona-Çesme and from Brindisi- Çesme. MedEuropean Seaways (tel: (216) 392 8346; website: www.mesline.com ) runs a ferry between Brindisi-Çesme.

To/from Cyprus: There are three routes with sea buses, car and passenger ferry services: Alanya-Girne, Tasucu-Girne, operated by the Fergün Shipping Company (website: www.ferries-turkey.com ) and Gazimagusa-Mersin. 

To/from Greece: There are privately operated ferry lines between Turkey and the Greek islands: Lesbos-Ayvalik, Chios-Çesme, Samos-Kusadasi, Cos-Bodrum, Rhodes-Bodrum, Rhodes-Marmaris and Rhodes-Fethiye. 

To/from Ukraine: Ukrferry (tel: +380 482 344 059, in Ukraine; website: www.ukrferry.com ) operates ferries between Odessa-Istanbul and Ilyichevsk-Derince.

Cruise ships stop in Istanbul, Kusadasi and Antalya.

Note: All ships, including private yachts, arriving in Turkish waters must go to one of the following ports of entry: Akçay, Alanya, Anamur, Antalya, Ayvalik, Bandirma, Bodrum, Botas (Adana), Çanakkale, Çesme, Datça, Derince, Didim, Dikili, Fethiye, Finike, Giresun, Güllük, Hopa (Artvin), Iskenderun, Istanbul, Izmir, Kas, Kemer, Kusadasi, Marmaris, Mersin, Ordu, Rize, Samsun, Sinop, Söke, Tasucu (Silifke), Tekirdag, Trabzon and Zonguldak.

Getting There by Rail

Train journeys can be made to Istanbul via some of the major European cities. The journey from London takes three days: Eurostar to Paris, Orient Express to Vienna (overnight), Avala to Budapest, overnight Ister to Bucharest and finally the Bosfor to Istanbul. There is also a less comfortable couchette car from Budapest to Istanbul. Other international rail routes go to Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Germany and Serbia. For more information contact Turkish Railways (TCDD) in Istanbul (tel: (212) 527 0050; website: www.tcdd.gov.tr ).
Rail Passes
InterRail: offers unlimited first- or second-class travel in up to 30 European countries for European residents of over six months with two pass options. The Global Pass allows for 22 days or one month continuous travel, five days in 10 days or 10 days in 22 days across all countries. The One-Country Pass offers travel for three, four, six or eight days in one month in any of the countries except Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro. Travel is not allowed in the passenger's country of residence. Travellers under 26 years receive a reduction. Children's tickets are reduced by about 50%. Supplements are required for some high-speed services, seat reservations and couchettes. Discounts are offered on Eurostar and some ferry routes. Available from Rail Europe (website: www.raileurope.co.uk/inter-rail ).

Getting There by Road

There are entry points by road from Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, the Syrian Arab Republic and Iran. From London, drivers may either choose the northern route via Belgium, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, or the southern route through Belgium, Austria, Italy with a car-ferry connection to Turkey.

Coach:
There are regular services between Turkey and Austria, France, Germany, Greece and Switzerland, as well as Jordan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Syrian Arab Republic. It is possible to travel by coach from London to Istanbul, changing in Frankfurt (journey time - approximately 70 hours). Tickets are available from National Express (tel: 0870 580 8080; website: www.nationalexpress.com ).
Cycling & Maps
Cost of living
Cost of Living in Turkey: all prices in New Turkish Lire (TRY)
drinks and snacks

food: local markets; restaurants; and stores

water (mineral)

juice
soft drink (can)
soft drink (bottle)

1 litre

1 litre
300ml
1 litre


1.60
tba
1.45

bread loaf-white
baguette - 60 cm
semit - turkish bagel

550g
each
each
2.50
1.50
local market dinner
börek pastry
turkish pide
pizza-takeaway
1 mixed plate
kg
one serving
med
tba
10.00+
3.50-5.00
12.00
beer-local
wine
330ml
750ml
2.25
12.00
tea
tea-cafe
turkish coffee-cafe
Nescafe instant
turkish coffee-ground
25 bags
per cup
per cup
125g
500g

2.20


5.50

rice (white)
pasta
eggs
tinned tomatoes
sundried tomatoes

kg
500g
per dozen
250g
kg

3.50
0.65
2.60
0.80
tba
milk
yoghurt / curd
cheese (feta)
Magnum icecream
1 litre
200g
kg
each

1.80
0.80
16.00
tba

potatoes
onions
tomatoes
green beans
kg
kg
kg
kg
1.20
1.35
0.80
2.50
chips
salted peanuts
salted pistachio
200g pack
kg
kg
tba
tba
10+
apples
oranges
bananas
kg
kg
kg
1.80
2.00
3.30
turkish apricots
cornflakes
chocolate
lokum-turkish delight
biscuits-plain
biscuits-chocolate
kg
375g pack
100g block
kg
200g pack
200g pack
3.00+
3.20
1.60
8.00+
1.40
2.00
pineapple (can)
oil (olive)
500g can
500ml
2.50
2.50
peanut paste
jam
honey
chocolate spread
500g jar
400g jar
400g
500g
tba
2.70
 
accommodation personal
budget city hostel 15-20 per dorm bed
35-60 double share bathroom
40-90 double with ensuite

deodorant - roll-on
soap
shampoo
toothbrush
toothpaste
disposable razor
toilet paper

50ml
150g bar
200ml
each
100ml
5 pack
each
3.20
1.20
3.10
tba
2.80
3.90
tba
eurocamping 1 star
wild camping

15.00- 22.00
yes

internet 2.00-4.00 per hour

* tba = price to be announced
* January 2009: at time of writing 1.00 USD = 1.70 TRY
all prices have been taken from internet resources such as wikitravel, hostel world, leading supermarket chains, travel blogs, forums and of course our own travel experiences and purchases of everyday products in food markets, bazaars and local shopping facilities. They are only an indication and designed to give you a general impression of the cost of living in Turkey. Items are geared towards the budget conscious traveller with the occasional craving for a bit of luxoury.

A couple of extra tips:
*
Haggling is an age old tradition in Turkey. As long as you, know your market; decide what the item is worth; don't get too enthusiastic about it; and be prepared to walk away, you should come home with a bargain.
*
At food markets check prices before eating or ordering food and drink to avoid any nasty little surprises when you get the bill. Most restaurants and cafes have a menu.

*

There are no tax and service charges to be added on top of the bill. Modest tipping between 5% and 10% is appreciated in restaurants but entirely your own discretion.
Accommodation
Major tourist towns have the most expensive accommodation, but prices for budget lodgings drop once you exit these havens of hustling touts. Bus, train and ferry systems make travel relatively simple and there is ample accommodation dotting the entire country to make the independent traveller's life easy. Note that the east of Turkey is contrastingly poorer and more rural, which does tend to have an effect on the amount and standard of travel amenities. That said, it is still no problem to go almost anywhere in Turkey.

In general, the official campsites hug the coastline and you'll not find much under 22 TRY per night for a tent pitch. Both eurocampings and campingo have plenty of information to give you an idea of what to expect from Turkish campground etiquette. Alternatively, there is enough vacant land to free camp. And as long as you exercise all the normal caution as a wild camper, you'll have no problems at all. Bear in mind that, even if you have kept yourself well hidden, you are never far from view of a local herder, so expect a visit from the farmer who's plot of land you've chosen for your overnight stay. More often than not, it'll be handshakes and smiles and lots of staring before they leave you alone to get on with what you were doing.

Pure spring water is available at every little store and corner shop. Drink only bottled water or filter what you find. While some tap water is safe, it's difficult to be sure and better to be safe than sorry.

Probably one of the most informative sites about turkey is the Turkey Travel Planner .
For more campsites: Turizm.net

Food & drink
The great thing about the Turkish breakfast is it is nearly always included in the price of accommodation. Each morning, depending on how enthusiastic your hotel staff are, you'll get bread, olives, cheese, hard boiled eggs, fresh tomato and copious amounts of tea or coffee to start the day with. Keeps the budget traveller going until lunchtime.

The Dia, Yimpas and Sok supermarkets will suffice for all your basic needs, though in the big cities you'll also stumble upon a few of the larger chain stores as well. Also worth a visit are the market areas, if not for a major sensory overload, then for a spot of bargaining.

In the big cities you'll also find enough restaurants to cater to all you culinary desires including the vegetarian table. A good idea to visit HappyCow to choose from some of the many choices available. The Musafir Indian restaurant in Istanbul, gets some good reviews too and it's prices are also pretty reasonable. Take a look at a complete menu on their website.

If you are one of those persons that always left the pink wrapped turkish delight chocolate in the Roses Family Box for someone else, then this sugary confectionary, known in Turkey as lokum, is definitely going to take on a whole new meaning and a trip here wouldn't be complete without trying this national sweet. Vegetarians beware, some are made with gelatin, but there are cornstarch varieties available.

 
VEGETARIAN TALK - Turkish
Ben vejeteryanim = I'm vegetarian
...yiyemem [yee-yeh-mehm] = I can't eat...
et [et] = meat
sigir eti = beef
tavuk [tah-vook] = chicken
domuz eti = pork
yumurta [yoo-moor-tah] = egg
balik [bah-luck] = fish
peynir [pay-neer] = cheese
sebze = vegetables
(taze) meyve = (fresh) fruit
...istiyorum = I want
...içeren bir yemek istiyorum = I want a dish with...

Hic et yemem
[heech eht yeh-mehm] = I eat no meat at all

Et suyu bile yiyemem [Et soo-yoo bil-le yee-yeh-mehm] = I can't even eat meat stock

Etsiz yemek var mi? [Et-seez yeh-mek var muh?] = Do you have any dishes without meat?

lütfen. [Luet-fen] = please
tsekkür ederim = thank you
rica ederim = your welcome

Anyway, even if only for the visual experience, follow the temptation to check out all those brightly coloured little squares, piled high in glass cases and walk into one of the many lokum shops. I recommend going for a freshly boxed assortment. Guaranteed, there won't be any left for anybody else this time.

Why not try these for starters?
The Famous Turkish Pide
Either kaslari (cheese) or yumurtlu (egg) pides are the vegetarian versions of this Turkish staple. In smaller towns a salad and drink are sometimes included in the price.
Gözleme
Basically a griddled pancake filled with anything from spinach and feta to spicy aubergine and potato and is not only absolutely delicious to eat, but sheer entertainment to watch being made. The stalls line the roadsides in western Turkey and are great lunch time treat.
Yaprak Dolmasi
Savoury rice stuffed grapevine leaves served 'zeytinyagli', meaning 'with olive oil' and eaten cold. Watch out for the hot ones as they are traditionally the meat 'etli' variety.

Piyaz
A layered salad, normally made with navy beans, tomatoes, onions, parsley and finished off with a red wine vinegar dressing. Hard boiled eggs are sometimes used too.

Tabouli
Refreshingly zesty salad of parsley, bulghur, tomato and onions seasoned with pepper, salt, lemon juice and olive oil.

Sigara Boregi
A Turkish cigar shaped pastry rolled with feta cheese, parsley and filo-dough and fried until golden brown. The perfect little in between snack or served as a light meal with a fresh mediterranean salad and kalamata olives.
Börek
Layered flaky pastry filled with all sorts of combinations of spinach, other vegetables, feta, cheese and egg. You can buy this delicious pie by the kilo from special börek shops.
Simit
These tasty oversized bagels topped with golden sesame seeds are sold cheaply by vendor-carts everywhere in Turkey. Try one for breakfast with feta, jam or yogurt. When fresh, and they nearly always are, they are simply divine just by themselves.
Kadayif
Syrupy and sticky, this finely shredded filo pastry desert looks a bit like the shredded wheat cereal, only ten times more sugary.

Drinking tea is an integral part of everyday life and endlessly repeated throughout the day. Should the market price of this consumable ever sky rocket then the whole foundation of Turkish culture could tragically collapse. Luckily, it hasn't and walking around Istanbul, you will be offered copious amounts of this delicious brew in cute little tulip shaped glasses. While most offers are genuine, there are still a handful of tyrants waiting to rip you off, so just beware that something else isn't slipped in the brew as well.
Bike shops
   
Ankara Delta Bike
9 Sokak No:4/Bahcelievler
Ankara
Tel: (0.312) 2236027
Fax: (0.312) 222 3492
website: www.deltabisiklet.com
   
Istanbul Aktif Pedal
Ayazmadere Cad. No 26
Gayreteppe - Istanbul
Tel: +90 212 213 3598
Fax: +90 212 274-4908
website
   
  Asli Bisiklet **
Piri Reis Sokak No: 2/2
Sirkeci - Istanbul
Tel: +90 212 5273563
Fax: +90 212 5225581
website: www.aslibisiklet.com
   
  Bahar Hirdavat
Yuksekkaldirim Galip Dede Cd. No 181
Karakoy - Istanbul
Tel: +90 (212) 244 47 15
   
  Delta Bisiklet
Bağdat Caddesi No 9-A
Kızıltoprak Kadıköy - Istanbul
Tel: +90 216 450 66 30
Fax: +90 216 550 77 27
website
   
 

Kaçkar Bisiklet
Tütüncü Mehmet Efendi Caddesi
Çam Apartmanı, no:19
Göztepe / İSTANBUL
Tel: 0216 385 82 20 - 53

&
Dereboyu Caddesi No: 94/C
Ortaköy / İSTANBUL
Tel: 0212 258 02 91 - 0212 259 22 79
website
Brands: Giant, Schwalbe, SRAM

   
  Pedal Sportif / Pedal Bisiklet
Mimar Kmalettin Cadesi
Sirkeci - 34420
Tel: +90 212 511 06 54
Fax: +90 212 520 28 81
website
   
  Taz Ticaret
Yazuzturk Caddesi No 33
Kadikoy - Istanbul
Tel: 337 49 66
Fax: 336 72 66
   
  Trek Turkey
Dereboyu Cd 84 Ortaköy Mh
Istanbul
Tel: 212 2271015 / 212 2270545
website: www.trek-turkey.com
e-mail: info@trek-turkey.com
   
 

Yeşil Bisiklet
İda Spor Ltd. Şti
Lalezar Sk. No.:6/A
34726 Selamiçeşme İstanbul
Tel: 0216 363 58 36
Tel: 0216 358 16 31
Fax: 0216 302 25 68
GPS: N 40° 58 28.9 /E 029° 02 52

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Road distances
Turkey road distance chart
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