Information About Turkey
The First Geography Congress,
which was convened in Ankara in 1941, at the conclusion of the
research that had continued for a long time, separated Turkey
into seven geographical regions. During the congress activities,
the fact that Turkey is surrounded by sea on three sides, the
presence of mountain ranges lying parallel to the length of the
long coastline, the fact that these mountains separate the high,
but slightly steep and uneven central section from the influence
of the sea and because of this, factors such as the climate,
natural plant cover and the distribution of types of
agriculture, and the influences of these on the transportation
systems and the types of housing between the coastal strip and
the central sections, had been taken into consideration and it
was possible to divide Turkey into four border and three inner
regions. The first four of the seven regions determined were
given the names of the seas which are adjacent to them (the
Black Sea, the Marmara, the Aegean and the Mediterranean
Regions). The other three regions were named in accordance with
their location in the whole of Anatolia (Central, Eastern and
South-eastern Anatolia Regions).
Stretching out on two continents, Turkey is a paradise where one
can experience the four seasons simultaneously... Whether you
are fond of art, history, archeology or nature, you will feel
the happiness beyond desires and hopes during your stay in
Surrounded by the crystal clear waters of a shinning sea at four
directions, Turkey generously offers her 8000km long shores
before your eyes. Turkey is also rich in flora and fauna.
Twenty fascinating civilizations render Turkey the heir of
10.000 years old history which has still been examined for
further ancient secrets to be brought up into daylight. These
lands inhale at any moment the mystery of the past through the
existenece of the statues of gods and goddesses, temples,
theathers, agoras, churches, mosques, medresseh, palaces and
caravanseraies. Becoming a united whole of daily life and all
other values, Turkey forms the ideal circumstances.
ART & CULTURE
Among the prominent statesmen of the 20th century, few
articulated the supreme importance of culture as did Mustafa
Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, who stated:
"Culture is the foundation of the Turkish Republic." His view of
culture encompassed the nation's creative legacy as well as the
best values of world civilization. It stressed personal and
universal humanism. "Culture," he said, " is a basic element in
being a person worthy of humanity," and described Turkey's
ideological thrust as "a creation of patriotism blended with a
lofty humanist ideal."
To create the best synthesis, Ataturk underlined the need for
the utilization of all viable elements in the national heritage,
including the ancient indigenous cultures, and the arts and
techniques of the entire world civilization, past and present.
He gave impetus to the study of earlier civilizations of
Anatolia -- including Hittite, Phrygian, Lydian and others.
Pre-Islamic culture of theTurks became the subject of extensive
research which proved that, long before the Seljuk and Ottoman
Empires, the Turks had already created a civilization of their
own. Ataturk also stressed the folk arts and folklore of the
countryside as a wellspring of Turkish creativity.
The development of painting, sculpture and the decorative arts
had been arrested by Ottoman officials, who claimed the
depiction of the human form was idolatry, but these arts
flourished during Ataturk's presidency. Many museums were opened
and architecture gained new vigor. Classical Western music,
opera and ballet, as well as theater took impressive
strides.Several hundred "People's Houses" and "People's Rooms"
all over Turkey gave local people and youngsters a wide variety
of artistic activities, sports and cultural affairs. Book and
magazine publication enjoyed a boom. The Film industry started
to grow. In all walks of cultural life, Ataturk's inspiration
created an upsurge.
Ataturk's Turkey is living proof of this ideal -- a country rich
in its own national culture, open to the heritage of world
civilization and at home in the endowments of the modern
GENERAL VISA INFORMATION FOR BRITISH PASSPORT HOLDERS
British passport holders travelling to Turkey require visa.
Visas can be obtained at the port of entry in Turkey or from the
Turkish Consulate General in London or Turkish Diplomatic
Missions in other countries.
Sticker type visas are issued at the port of entry and allow
staying in Turkey for up to 90 days. It costs £10. If there is
more than one person travelling on the same passport, each
individual is liable to pay the visa fee. This type of visa does
not permit to engage in paid or unpaid employment.
Those who wish to obtain entry visa from the Turkish Consulate
in London should apply to the Consulate General. Visa fee is £40
and should be paid by postal order or cash only. A passport size
picture should also be submitted during application.
It is compulsory to have a minimum of three months validity on
your passport from the date of your entry into Turkey.
Travel document holders need to apply to the Consulate General
in person with his/her travel document with a validity of at
least 6 months, a passport size photo, fully filled application
form, latest bank statement, a reference letter from his/her
employer or school. The fee is 40 pounds sterling. All visas for
travel document holders are single entry.
For more information please contact Turkish Consulate General in
The Consulate General for the Republic of Turkey in London
Tel : 0207 591 69 00
Fax : 0207 591 69 11
Please note, that they are open for telephone enquires between
14.00 and 16.00 hrs only
Visa Information Line: 09068 347 348 (24 hrs)
Address: Rutland Lodge
Limits: You, a foreign national, can bring abroad cash up to USD
5000 or equivalent amount of any other foreign exchange.
Moreover, if you have declared the amount of your money to
customs authorities just prior to your entry into Turkey, you
are allowed to bring abroad cash up to declared amount on your
On the other hand, you are free to transfer abroad an amount of
Turkish Liras or foreign exchange by means of banks in Turkey
The following items may be brought into the country duty free
personal effects of the tourist:
one TV, one colour pocket TV (maximum 16 cm screen), one
TV-tape-radio combination, one video recording camera and 5
video cassettes (blank); 5 records, 5 tape cassettes or compact
discs, one video player, cine-projector (8 mm) and 10 rolls of
film (blank), one slide projector, one pocket computer (maximum
main memory capacity Ram 128k. Byte), electronic playing devices
(without cassette - keyboard).
one transistor radio and portable radio - tape player (its
specification to be determined by the Ministry of Finance and
Customs), one Walkman or pocket tape recorder, one portable
compact disc player.
Binoculars (one pair, except night binoculars)
harmonica, mandolin, flageole, flute, guitar, and accordion
(only one of each type, maximum 3 musical instruments).
personal sports equipment.
necessary medical items.
bicycle, baby buggy, toys.
200 cigarettes and 50 cigars.
200 grams of tobacco and 200 cigarette papers, or 50 grams of
chewing tobacco or 200 grams of pipe tobacco, or 200 grams of
(In addition to the above allowances, it is possible to purchase
400 cigarettes, 100 cigars, and 500 grams of pipe tobacco from
the Turkish Duty Free Shops upon entering the country).
1.5kg. coffee, 1.5kg. instant coffee, 500 grams of tea.
1 kilo chocolate and 1 kilo sweets.
5 (100 cc) or 7 (70 cc) bottles of wines and/or spirits.
five bottles of perfume (120 ml max. each).
one portable typewriter.
one camera with 5 rolls of film.
First aid, and spare parts for the car.
Other items necessary during the journey.
Valuable items and all items with a value of over $ 15,000 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) and weapons may not
be brought into the country without special permission.
The bringing into the country, trade, and consumption of
marijuana and all other narcotics is strictly forbidden and
subject to heavy punishment.
Gifts, not exceeding 500 DM in value and not for trading
purposes, may be brought into the country duty free. In
addition, gifts not exceeding 500 OM 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, and New
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 and will be
checked on entry and exit.
For more information contact the;
Ministry of Transportation, General Directorate at
Tel: 090 (312) 212 35 72 - 212 60 10 (10 lines)
Fax: (312) 221 32 26 or
write to Ulastirma Bakanligi Telsiz Gn. Md. Emek - Ankara.
Gifts and souvenirs: for a new carpet, a proof of purchase; for
old items, a certificate from a directorate of a museum is
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 Etudler Dairesi
(General Directorate of Mining Exploration and Research)
Tel: 090 (312) 287 3430 /1622
Fax: 090 (312) 285 42 71
Tax Refund: You can receive a tax refund for the goods you
purchased in Turkey.
Travellers who are not resident in Turkey may receive a refund
of the Value Added Tax paid on goods purchased in the country.
1. Refunds will be made to travellers who do not reside in
2. All goods (including food and drinks) are included in the
refunds with the exclusion of services rendered.
3. The minimum amount of purchase that qualifies for refund is
4. Retailers that qualify for tax refunds must be "authorized
for refund". These retailers must display a permit received from
their respective tax office.
5. The retailer will make four copies of the receipt for your
refund, three of which will be given to the purchaser. If
photocopies of the receipt are received the retailer must sign
and stamp the copies to validate them. If you prefer the refund
to be made by cheque, a Tax-free Shopping Cheque for the amount
to be refunded to the customer must be given along with the
6. 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 and/or cheque.
7. There are four ways to receive your refund:
a) If the retailer gives you a cheque, it can be cashed at a
bank in the Customs area at the airport.
If it is not possible to cash the cheque upon departure or if
you do not with to cash it, then the customer must, within on
month, send a copy of the receipt to the retailer, showing that
the goods have left the country, who will, within then days upon
receiving the receipt, send a bank transfer to the purchaser's
bank or address.
b) If the certified receipt and cheque are brought back to the
retailer on a subsequent visit within one month of the date of
customs certification, the refund can be made directly to the
c) Retailers may directly refund the amount to trustworthy
customers upon purchase.
d) The refund may be made by the organization of those companies
that are authorized to make tax refunds.
Ministry of Finance and Tax Dept. General Directorate
Maliye Bakanligi, Gelirler Genel Mudurlugu
KDV Subesi, 06100
Telephone: 00-90-312-310 38 80
Fax: 00-90-312-311 45 10 - 311 35 20
Alternatively you can visit:
Ministry of Finance and Tax Dept. General Directorate
Gelirler Genel Mudurlugu)
KDV Subesi 06100
Ulus - Ankara
Tel: 090 (312) 3103880 / 725
Fax: 090 (312) 3114510
For those who wish to bring domestic animals into the country
the following are required:
A 'Certificate of Origin' giving the health record of the
A 'Certificate of Health', issued not more than 15 days before
the animal's entry into the country, stating that the animal is
in good health and that it has been vaccinated against rabies.
Note: If you have an official certificate, you may bring one
cat, one bird, one dog and 10 aquarium fish into the country.
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
* International driving license.
* Car license (document where all details related to the car and
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
* 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 and 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 and Automobile Club (Turkiye Turing ve
1. Sanayi Sitesi Yani
Tel 090(212) 282 81 40(7 lines)
The General Directorate of Customs (Gumrukler Genel Mudurlugu),
Tel: 090 (312) 310 38 80
Fax: 090 (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 and report.
If the vehicle can be repaired, it is necessary to inform the
customs authority first and take the vehicle to a garage. If the
vehicle is not repairable and if the owner wishes to leave the
country without his vehicle, he has to deliver it to the nearest
customs office, and 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:
Traffic Police - Tel :154
Gendarme - Tel :156
All yachts entering or leaving Turkey are required to make their
entry or departure at frontier ports.
PORTS OF ENTRY IN TURKEY:
Hopa, Rize, Trabzon, Giresun, Ordu, Samsun, Inebolu, Sinop,
Bartin, Zonguldak, Eregli, Istanbul, Tekirdag, Derince, Gemlik,
Mudanya, Bandirma, canakkale, Akcay, Ayvalik, Dikili, Izmir,
Kusadasi, Didim, Gulluk, Bodrum, Datca, Marmaris, Fethiye, Kas,
Finike, Kemer, Antalya, Alanya, Anamur, Bozyazi, Tasucu, Mersin,
If you wish to enter Turkey, after you have sailed through
international ports and waters, then you are required to obtain
a Yacht Registration Form, which contains information about
yachts and yachtsmen. You will need to complete this form in
accordance with the explanations given there and you will need
to go through the Customs, Health and Port procedures as per the
international regulations stated within those explanations and
in accordance with your declaration.
The cost of the Yacht Registration Form is $30.00 and it is
valid for one year.
However, if the owner of the yacht or the legal keeper of the
yacht changes within that year and if the yacht leaves Turkish
Customs Area or the Form is lost, then the term of validity of
the Form comes to an end. It is possible to obtain a new Yacht
Registration Form in such occurrences.
TRIPS WITHIN TURKISH WATERS OR BETWEEN TURKISH PORTS
You, as the owner of the yacht and your guests on the yacht, are
entitled to sail freely in Turkish waters and between ports, on
condition that the purpose of the trip is not commercial. You
may wish to sail between Turkish ports for the purpose of
travel, leisure or sport.
As long as the captain, crew and the yachtsmen of the yacht
remain the same on such trips, you can sail freely to the bays
on your route, except forbidden areas, without the need to go
through any procedures.
If any change occurs between ports, in terms of your captain,
yachtsmen or crew, then you should definitely make an
application to the Director of Port in your area and obtain a
confirmation for the change.
Foreign-flagged private yachts belonging to more than one owner
and yachts belonging to an association or a yacht club, may be
used by four keepers only in one year.
If you are in our country with your yacht and you wish to extend
your visa for your stay, then you will need to allocate a marina
or a mooring place licensed by the Ministry of Tourism, as your
address of residence and after you notify the authorities of the
address you will be granted an extension. In such cases, the
extension you can be granted on your term of residence and visa
may be no longer than 5 (five) years, depending on your term of
contract that you have with the marina or the moorage.
You can also use your own vehicle freely, after you inform the
Directorate of Customs, whilst you stay in Turkey under the term
of your visa and residency.
Should you wish to leave Turkey for a period of time temporarily
with your yacht, you can leave your road vehicle, if you have
one, which you have brought to Turkey, at places that are
allocated and monitored by the Customs authorities.
If, for example, you or your family need to be collected from
another port or taken to another port, then your captain, on
condition that he has your written or fax instructions to do so,
can obtain a permit to sail from the Directorate of Port and can
sail to another Turkish port, forth and back, without any
yachtsmen or guests on board.
Unless the authorities receive a complaint or a claim, which
should be made in accordance with the regulations, no searches,
either of your yacht or for any goods, will be carried out.
However, if the authorities conduct a search upon receipt of a
complaint or a claim through the appropriate channels and
establish you to be in possession of goods that are forbidden to
be taken into Turkey, then any such item or items will be seized
by the customs authorities and will not be returned until your
yacht leaves Turkish waters.
In such instances when you have to depart from or enter Turkey
for reasons of emergency, extraordinary conditions or under the
obligations set out by the Law protecting life and property
afloat, it is an obligation to report the case to the Turkish
officials at the first port of arrival.
Equipped diving is subject to obtaining permission. You can
obtain the relevant information and the co-ordinations from
regional Tourist and Information directorates.
CHANGES IN THE YACHT INVENTORY
Whilst your yacht is in Turkey, if due to any reason (i.e.
repairs, etc.) a change occurs in the inventory of the yacht,
you will be required to have the necessary changes logged
through the relevant Customs officials on your Yacht
Spare parts belonging to your yacht and other material will be
allowed to remain in Turkey as long as your yacht remains in
If any spare part becomes redundant following repairs carried
out on the yacht and the owner wishes to take it out of Turkey,
then the owner will have to have such parts registered in the
inventory list of the yacht. You can also leave your old spare
parts with the customs officials in accordance with the Customs
Act 4458, section 164.
LEAVING YOUR YACHT IN TURKEY
Foreign-flagged yachts, on condition that they are sailed by
their owners once every two years, can remain in Turkey up to
five (5) years without a requirement for any permission.
You can leave our country by another means of transport during
this period after you leave your yacht at a marina or a moorage
licensed by the Ministry of Tourism.
When leaving Turkish ports for international ports with your
yacht, you need to complete the relevant section of the Yacht
Registration Form, have it confirmed by the Director of Port and
complete the required procedures at the Customs Directorate.
1) You are not allowed to use your private yacht for commercial
purposes unless you obtain the necessary permission from the
Ministry of Tourism.
2) You are not allowed to charge individuals you have declared
as your guests for any cruises.
3) You need to be aware that if any untruthful declarations are
being submitted, these will be subject to legal proceedings
brought against you.
4) If you export any historical artefacts, you will be subjected
to legal proceedings brought against you. Such an act
constitutes a crime.
5) You should not engage yourself in any way of exchange of
goods (buying or selling) that have not yet been through the
necessary customs and duty procedures, with other yachts or
ships. Such an exchange is illegal.
Such occurrences as stated above are considered as acts of crime
internationally and in our country and if such an act is
established to have taken place, then the legal proceedings to
follow will be in accordance with the relevant legislation in
FOR PRIVATE PLANE OWNERS
General: When coming to Turkey, international air routes should
he followed. Private planes may stay for up to three months in
Turkey with tourist status, but for longer periods permission
should be obtained from
The General Directorate of Customs
(Gumrukler Genel Mudurlugu),
Tel: 090 (312) 310 3880
Fax: 090 (312) 311 1346
The airports of Ankara, Adana, Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Trabzon
and Dalaman have ties for private planes. It is also possible to
hire planes and helicopters in Turkey.
For further information, apply to:
The Civil Aviation Department of the Ministry of Transport
(Ulastirma Bakanligi, Havacilik Gen. Mud.)
No: 5 - 06338
Emek - Ankara
Tel: 090 (312) 212 67 30
Fax: 090 (312) 212 46 84
CLIMATE AND CLOTHING
WHEN TO COME
Marmara, Aegean, and Mediterranean coasts: These coasts have a
typical Mediterranean climate with hot summers and wild winters.
The swimming season becomes shorter the further north one goes:
Marmara and North Aegean - June to September, South Aegean and
Mediterranean - April to October. Black Sea Coast: warm summers,
mild winters, and relatively high rainfall.
Central Anatolia: Steppe climate with hot, dry summers and cold
Eastern Anatolia: Long snowy, cold winters with mild summers.
Southeast Anatolia: Hot summer with mild, rainy winters.
WHAT TO WEAR
Marmara, Aegean, and Mediterranean coasts: Light, cotton summer
clothing and cardigans for evening.
Black Sea Coast, Central and Eastern Anatolia: Summer wear,
warmer clothing should be taken for cool evenings at high
altitudes. Comfortable shoes are necessary for visiting
archaeological and historical sites.
Visiting a mosque: Five times a day, the "muezzin" calls the
faithful to prayer in the mosque. Before entering a mosque,
Muslims wash themselves and remove their shoes. Foreign visitors
should also remove their shoes and show the respect they would
any other house of worship and avoid visiting the mosque during
prayer time. Women should cover their heads and arms, and not
wear miniskirts. Men should not wear shorts. (In certain famous
mosques, overalls are provided for those not suitably dressed.)
Government offices: 8:30 am - 12:30 pm; 1:30 pm-5:30 pm (Closed
Saturday and Sundays, open daily in tourist areas)
Banks: 8:30 am - 12:00 pm; 1:30 pm-5:00 pm (Closed Saturday and
Sundays, open daily in tourist areas)
Shops: 9:30 am - 7:00 pm (In tourist areas, closing times vary,
some close around midnight)
Covered Bazaar- Istanbul: 8:am - 7:pm (Closed Sundays)
Summer hours: In the Aegean and the Mediterranean regions of
Turkey, government offices and many other establishments are
closed in the afternoon during the summer months. These summer
hours are fixed each year by the provincial governors.
OFFICIAL HOLIDAYS IN 2004
New Year’s Day January 1
Sacrifice Festival January 31 (1/2 day) to February 4
National Sovereignty and Childrens' Day April 23
Ataturk Commemoration & Youths and Sports Festival May 19
Victory Day August 30
Republic Day October 28 (½ day) to October 29
Ramadan Festival November 13 (½ day) to November 16
SERVICE TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Traffic Police: 154
International Operator: 118
Municipal Police: 153
AND TELEPHONE CALLS
Turkish post and telephone offices are easily recognizable by
their "PTT" and "Turk Telekom" signs. Major post offices are
open from 8:00am to 12 am Monday to Saturday and 9:00am to 7:00
pm on Sunday. Small post offices have the same hours as
Government offices (see below).
Poste restante letters should be addressed "postrestant" to the
central post office ("Merkez Postanesi") in the town of your
choice. It is only necessary to produce and identification card
when collecting your letter. This service is for sending and
receiving documents from other countries.
Fax service is available for sending and receiving documents
from other countries.
This service is for sending valuable belongings or important
Other PTT services
It is possible to exchange money at some PTT branches at the
current international exchange rate. International post orders
and travellers cheques can also be exchanged. An express postal
service (Acele Posta Servisi -APS) operates from Turkey to 72
other countries for letters, documents and small packages. Stamp
collectors will be delighted with the wide range of special
stamps available from the philatelic section. International
subscriptions are also available.
The most economic way to telephone in Turkey is from a PTT
telephone booth (Found in all towns). Telephone cards are
Local Time: GMT+2hours (Summer).
Electricity: 220 volts AC all over Turkey (A European adaptor
will be suitable).
Tap water: Safe to drink in all cities since it has been
Weights and measurements: Metric System
Foreign Newspapers: Available in large cities and tourist areas.
Interpreters-guides: Ministry of Tourism Offices and travel
agents can provide professional interpreters/guides. Travel
agents are obliged to provide a professional interpreter/guide
on all of their tours.
Turkey's currency is the New Turkish Lira (YTL). Many shops and
restaurants in the coastal resorts and big cities accept payment
in foreign currency. But if you are planning to travel to other
parts of the country, it is advisible to take some Turkish Lira.
With a credit or debit card you can withdraw local currency from
cash machines which are found in convenient locations in cities,
towns and resorts. There are also cash machines in the arrivals
halls at most airports.Credit cards are widely accepted in
hotels, restaurants and shops.
Travellers cheques and cash can be exchanged for TL at banks and
private exchange offices in Turkey.