Facts for travelers to Turkey. Travel guide & holiday information.
Did you know? 2 of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World are in Turkey. Turkey has a coastline of 7800 kms. St. George, the patron saint of England is from Cappadocia region in central Turkey. The last home of Virgin Mary is in Selcuk. Turks gave the Dutch their famous tulips.
Limits: There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency that may be brought into Turkey, but not more than 5,000 worth of Turkish currency may be brought into or taken out of the country.
Exchange slips: The exchange slips for the conversion of foreign currency into Turkish lira should be kept, since you may be required to show these when reconverting your Turkish lira back into foreign currency & when taking souvenirs out of the country (to prove that they have been purchased with legally exchanged foreign currency).
On Entry: The following items may be brought into the country duty free personal effects of the tourist. Valuable items & all items with a value of over 15,000 Euro must be registered in the owner’s passport upon entering Turkey, for control upon exit. Antiques brought into the country must be registered in the owner’s passport to avoid difficulties on exit. Sharp instruments (including camping knives) & weapons may not be brought into the country without special permission. The bringing into the country, trade & consumption of marijuana & all other narcotics is strictly forbidden & subject to heavy punishment. Gifts, not exceeding 500 Euro in value & not for trading purposes, may be brought into the country duty free. In addition, gifts not exceeding 500 Euro in value may be posted to Turkey duty free, if the date stamped by the sending post office falls one month before, or one month after the following holidays: Seker Bayrami, Kurban Bayrami, Christmas & New Year’s.
Note: Cellular Telephones entering the country must be accompanied by a certification form showing ownership. Ownership must be documented in the passport of the owner & will be checked on entry & exit. For more information contact the Ministry of Transportation, General Directorate at Tel: (312) 212 35 72 – 212 60 10 (10 lines), Fax: (312) 221 32 26 or write to Ulastirma Bakanligi Telsiz Gn. Md. Emek – Ankara.
On exit: Gifts & souvenirs: for a new carpet, a proof of purchase; for old items, a certificate from a directorate of a museum is necessary. Exporting antiques from Turkey is forbidden. Valuable personal items can only be taken out of the country providing they have been registered in the owner’s passport upon entry, or providing they can show they have been purchased with legally exchanged currency. Minerals may only be exported from the country with a special document obtained from the MTA (General Directorate of Mining Exploration & Research). Etudler Dairesi 06520, Ankara Tel: (312) 287 3430 /1622, Fax: (312) 285 42 71
You can receive a Tax Refund for the goods you purchased in Turkey. Refunds will be made to travellers who do not reside in Turkey. All goods (including food & drinks) are included in the refunds with the exclusion of services rendered. The minimum amount of purchase that qualifies for refund is 5.000 TL. Retailers that qualify for tax refunds must be “authorised for refund.” These retailers must display a permit received from their respective tax office. The retailer will make four copies of the receipt for your refund, three of which will be received by the purchaser. If photocopies of the receipt are received the retailer must sign & stamp the copies to validate them. If you prefer the refund to be made by check, a Tax-free Shopping cheque for the amount to be refunded to the customer must be given along with the receipt. For the purchaser to benefit from this exemption he must leave the country within three months with the goods purchased showing them to Turkish customs officials along with the appropriate receipts & or check.
Additional information: Ministry of Finance & Tax Dept. General Directorate, (Maliye Bakanligi, Gelirler Genel Mudurlugu) KDV Subesi 06100, Ulus – Ankara
Tel: (312) 3103880/725 – 728 – 735, Fax: (312) 311 45 10
Health Regulations for Pets
For those who wish to bring domestic animals into the country the following are required: Pets have to be 3 months & older. An International Certificate of Health issued within 15 days before the travel. The Identification Card, Vaccination Card. Note: If you have an official certificate, you may bring one cat, one bird, one dog & 10 aquarium fish into the country. To get information for the importation of pets, please see the Consular Services.
General: Those who wish to enter the country with their vans, minibuses, automobiles, station wagons, bicycles, motorcycles, motorbikes, sidecars, buses, motor coaches, trailers, caravans or other transport vehicles, will have to provide the following documentations: Passport, International driving license, vehicle license (document where all details related to the car & the owner’s name are registered). If it is somebody else’s vehicle a power of attorney should be provided. International green card (Insurance card). The TR sign should be visible. Transit book “Carnet de passage” (for those who want to proceed to the Middle East).
Period: The vehicle can be brought into Turkey for up to 6 Months. The owner should declare on the opposite form, the date of departure at the border gate & should absolutely ve the country at the date declared. If for any important reason the staying period has to be ended, it is necessary to apply to; The Turkish Touring & Automobile Club (Turkiye Turing ve Otomobil Kurumu) 1. Sanayi Sitesi Yani, 4.Levent, Istanbul, Tel (212) 282 81 40(7 lines). Fax (212) 282 80, or to The General Directorate of Customs (Gumrukler Genel Mudurlugu), Ulus Ankara Tel (312) 310 38 80,310 38 18, Fax (312) 31113 46, before the end of the period declared.
In Case of Accident: The accident should be reported to the police or gendarme. That report has to be certified by the nearest local authority. The owner should apply to the customs authority with his passport & report. If the vehicle can be repaired, it is necessary to inform the customs authority first & take the vehicle to a garage. If the vehicle is not repairable & if the owner wishes to leave the country without his vehicle, he has to deliver it to the nearest customs office & the registration of his vehicle on his passport will be cancelled. (Only after the cancellation can the owner of the vehicle leave the country). Following an accident, you can telephone: Trafik Polisi (Traffic Police), Tel :154 – Jandarma (Gendarme), Tel :156 – For more information, contact the Touring & Automobile Association of Turkey.
Formalities for Private Yacht Owners
Yachts require a Transit Log & may remain in Turkish waters for up to two years maintenance or for wintering. There are certain ports licensed by the Ministry of Tourist the storage of yachts for a period of two to five years. For further information & regulations contact the marina concerned. Upon arriving in Turkish waters, yachts should immediately go for control of the ship to the nearest port of entry which are as follows: Iskenderun, Botas (Adana), Mersin, Tasucu, Anamur, Alanya, Antalya, Kemer, Finike, Kas, Fethiye, Marmaris, Datca, Bodrum, Gulluk Didim, Kusadasi, Cesme, Izmir, Dikili, Ayvalik, Akcay, Canakkale, Bandirma, Tekirdag, Istanbul, Zonguldak, Sinop, Samsun, Ordu, Giresun, Trabzon, Rize, Hopa.
Port Formalities: All the required information concerning the yacht, yachtsmen, members, intended route, passports, customs declarations, health clearance & any obligatory matters must be entered in the Transit Log. The Transit Log is to he completed by the captain of a yacht under a foreign flag or amateur sail or acting as captain of the vessel. The Transit Log is completed upon first entering a Turkish port &, generally, it is necessary to contact the Harbour Authority before leaving. For information on tax-free fuel, contact the Marina Harbour Office. Note: If you have a certificate from the Tourism Ministry Yacht Harbour, you may take petrol at no charge, provided you possess an official marina license.
Underwater Diving: Diving for purposes of sport, with proper equipment & in non-restricted areas, is permitted. Foreign divers should have official documentation of their specifics & training & must be accompanied, when diving, by a licensed Turkish guide. The limit for diving with diving gear is 30 metres. For educational purposes, this limit is extended to 42 metres. Dives exceeding 30 metres must be carried out with proper diving & medical equipment. In arder to protect Turkish archaeological & cultural values. It is strictly forbidden to transport Turkish antiquities or natural specimens.
Turkish post-offices are easily recognized by their black PTT letters on a yellow background. Major post offices are open from 8:00 a.m. till 12:00 p.m., Monday/Saturday & 9:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m., Sunday. Small post-offices have the same hours as the government offices. Postal charges vary for different services depending on destination. Post restante letters should be addressed “postrestant” to the central post-office Merkez Postanesi, in the town of your choice. You have to show your identification card to collect your letters. All PTT branches have the facilities to exchange money at the current international exchange rates, as well as international postal orders & travellers’ cheques. There is also an express postal service (APS) operating to 90 countries for letters , documents & small packages. A wide variety of special stamps are available in all PTT centers for philatelists. To phone from PTT telephone booths, which are extensively found in all areas; telephone cards & tokens (“jeton”) in three sizes are used. Local, inter-city & international calls can be made from all PTT offices. Besides these main offices there are also mobile PTT services in the touristic areas. For the area codes of major cities & touristic areas in Turkey, please see the “Area Codes” list. Foreign countries area codes are indicated in the International Telephone Codes list. Some important service numbers are; 155 Police – 112 Emergency – 110 Fire – 118 Unknown Numbers – 161 PTT Information
Turkish Tourist Health Society (Turizm Sagligi Dernegi-Hacettepe Universitesi Tip Fakultesi Plastik ve Rekonstruktif Cerrahi Ana Bilim Dali, Sihhiye 06100 ANKARA Tel: (312) 311 93 93-310 98 08) perfoms the functions below, to provide the travellers in the entire country, mainly in the touristic regions, with proper health care: to secure food hygiene, to prevent environmental pollution, to ensure hygiene & healthy working-conditions in touristic establishments.
Monday-Friday (8:30-12:30) , (13:30-17:30)
Monday-Friday (8:30-12-00) , (13:30-17:00)
Istanbul Covered market: Monday-Saturday (8:00-19:00)
During summer months, the government offices & many other establishments in the Aegean & Mediterranean Regions are closed in the afternoon. These fixed summer hours are determined by the governing bodies of the provinces.
Other Practical Information
GMT+3 hours (April-September) GMT+2 hours (October-March)
Argentina -5, France -1, Netherlands -1, Australia +8, Germany -1, Saudi Arabia+1, Austria -1, Greece 0, Sweden -1, Egypt 0, Italy -1, Switzerland -1, England -2, Japan +7, Spain -1, USA -7 (EST) -10 (WEST)
These time differences are for the period October-March; however, they may show variances according to each country’s own time-saving adjustments.
Super (premium) – Unleaded – Normal (regular) – Diesel.
220 volts AC/50 Hz. all over Turkey. (Industrial:380 V) Plug: European round/ 2-prong plug.
Although tap water is safe to drink since it is chlorinated, it is recommended to get advice from the concemed authorities of the places resided.
Weights & Measures
1 inch = 2.54 centimeters , 1 centimeter = 0.3937 inches
1 yard = 0,9144 meters, 1 meter = 1.0936 yards
1 mile = 1,6093 kilometers, 1 kilometer = 0.6214 miles
1 pound = 0,4536 kilograms, 1 kilogram = 2.2046 pounds
1 acres = 0,4047 Hectares, 1 hectare = 2.471 acres
1 UK gallon = 4.546 litres, 1 litre = 0.2199 UK gallons
1 US gallon = 3.7831 litres, 1 litre = 0.2643 US gallons
Newspapers & Magazines
Foreign newspapers & magazines are available in big cities & tourist areas. Also there is a Turkish daily newspaper, Daily News, published in English.
At various establishments like hotels, restaurants, Turkish baths, barbers & hairdressers, tipping at a rate of 5%-15% of the total is common. Taxi & “dolmus” drivers on the other hand, do not expect tips or even rounded fares.
Visiting a mosque
Five times a day, the “muezzin” calls the faithful to prayer. Before entering a mosque, Muslims wash themselves & remove their shoes. Foreign visitors should also remove their shoes & show the respect they would any other house of worship & avoid visiting the mosque during prayer time. Women should cover their heads & arms & not wear miniskirts. Men should not wear shorts. In certain mosques, overalls are provided for those not suitably dressed.