Turkey is a country of diversity, stunning scenery, warm hospitality, and a whole range of resorts and activities to suit all tastes. A country spanning two continents where east meets west and 10,000 years of civilisation, Turkey is a treasure trove of history and culture.
Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean coasts boast a perfect Mediterranean climate with low humidity. The long, extended summer runs between May and October with temperatures ranging from the low 20°Cs at the beginning and end of the season, up to the mid 30°Cs in the hottest months of July and August. During spring, the scent of citrus blossoms fills the air, the hills and valleys are green with vegetation and the cool, sunny days are ideal for hiking and sightseeing. During the autumn months it is a pleasure to visit historical and natural sites in the cool weather or to buy up bargains at end-of-season sales! Winters tend to be mild with some sun, and occasional showers, and it is not unusual to be able to swim in the sea even in November.
The mix of cultural influences and traditions in Turkey is one of the things that draw tourists to the country. Turkey has a rich cultural heritage with a long history of influences from both Europe and Asia, which is reflected in the complexity and diversity of certain Turkish arts, language and handicrafts. Turks are proud of their centuries-old musical tradition, which is similar to the music of nearby Islamic regions such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and northern India. A cosmopolitan nation, Turkey has also adopted and developed ideas and traditions that combine Western, Asian, and Arabic elements.
Turkish family units are extremely important. Children often stay with their families until they get married and then continue to be the main focus of their families’ lives. Grandparents are often available to look after the children allowing the parents to go out to work. There is a great respect for elders in Turkish Culture and you can often see the younger generation kissing an elder’s hand and then touching the forehead as a sign of respect.
Equal rights for women were officially added to the civil code in 2002, so women now have equal say in relation to family matters and property and assets are divided equally in the event of a divorce. Women no longer need their husbands consent to obtain jobs and they are also entitled to continue using their maiden name if they wish once they are married.
The Evil Eye
The ‘evil eye’ is an ancient belief and is one of the most widespread superstitions in Turkey. It is believed that the ‘evil eye’ is created by feelings of extreme envy towards a person or object and that it can cast a spell on the article of it’s gaze bringing bad fortune. The’nazar boncuk’or’evil eye bead’is in reality a benevolent eye familiar with fend off harm and evil. It sometimes appears providing protection everywhere – in homes and buildings, in the car, and they are generally even worn by babies and young children.
The Hamam, or Turkish Bath, would be a Roman and Byzantine tradition which was adopted with the Selcuk Turks within the 11th century and possesses been section of the Turkish Culture plus a lifestyle ever since. It claimed a vital role in society as besides maybe it was a place the place that the faithful could adhere to the Muslim precept of cleanliness, that it was additionally a place in order to socialize, gossip and even talk business or politics. The exfoliation, bathing and massage routine provide both a relaxing and exhilarating experience. Today Hamams can be found in most Turkish towns and cities and is it are popular with both locals and tourists alike.
Turks love children and extend a warm welcome to our young holidaymakers. There are plenty of activities in Turkey which ensures you keep children happy, the most common being a bit of time around the gently shelving beaches which are perfect for families. For the better active, walking, horse riding, cycling and watersports are available. Government offices and banks is going to be closed on public holidays, but life while in the resort areas continues up to usual. Money exchange bureaux and a lot of shops and restaurants open as normal.
Did you realize?
- Turkey houses two of your Seven Wonders of your World, the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, as well as Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (present day Bodrum)
- St Nicholas, popularly referred to as Santa Claus, came into this world and lived in Turkey
- Noah’s Ark is alleged to possess landed at Mount Ararat in Eastern Turkey
- Turkey provides 70% of the earth’s hazelnuts
- Gave the English language many words including chock-a block, turquoise, yoghurt, kismet, kilim and parchment
- Turkey first introduced tulips to Holland and today still supplies tulips worldwide. The tulip is likewise Turkey’s national flower
- Turkey was the first ever land in your thoughts and employ coins 2700 yrs ago with the Lydians
- Turkey has the earth’s first female Supreme Court Judge, and gave the women the right to vote in 1934
Whilst people of Turkey is concerning 99% Muslim, the continent can be described as secular state that enables complete freedom of worship to non-muslims. Tourists visiting coastal resorts are unlikely to observe much evidence that they will be from a Muslim country, excepting the video call to prayer that could be heard 5 times per day. If visiting a mosque, dress conservatively and avoid visiting during prayer times or on Fridays, the holy day. For the coast, dress is normally relaxed beachwear for locals and tourists alike. It truly is in smaller villages, more remote areas and then the east of the country that the gown codes become more formal and much more traditional. During Ramadan, or Ramazan, as it is termed in Turkey, some locals may fast from sunrise to sunset. This is often quite relaxed while in the resort areas and can’t have affect by any means to visitors.
Historically known as Asia Minor or Anatolia, this vast region reflects an outstanding and fascinating history with settled habitation dating back to in the eighth millennium BC. Anatolia has seen just about any major western civilisation appear and disappear like Assyrians, Hittities, Phrygians, Urartian, Greeks and Romans. Treasured artefacts, including what is considered to be the earliest landscape picture ever painted were that is disregarded and tend to be displayed at Ankara’s Museum of Anatolian Civilisations. You will find many museums’artefacts are the only real clues we must the initial civilisations. Many of the finest sites emerged out of your Hellenistic period such as remains of ancient Troy and then the ruined settlements of Lycia.
Essentially the most impressive of them all is ancient Ephesus. It’s always believed that the Virgin Mary spent her last days in a house on the advantage of Ephesus whilst St John the Evangelist came to look after her. Now a place of Pilgrimage for Roman Catholics, your own home has brought the official sanction for the Vatican. In 560 BC the King of Persia, Cyrus, conquered everybody and everything and very quickly subjected the Aegean cities to his rule. However, 200 years later they were defeated by Alexander the Great. He led the Macedonians eastward across Anatolia in as much as India in pursuit of gaining the domination of Asia. Sure, he rapidly conquered the whole Middle East, from Greece to India.
Following its conquest by Rome while in the 2nd century BC, Asia Minor enjoyed centuries of peace. During the Middle Ages within the Byzantine Empire it became a centre of Christianity. The Great Seljuk Empire, based in Persia, was the earliest real Turkish state in Anatolia. This empire stood a distinctive culture with beautiful architecture and design. The Seljuks Empire quickly declined with Anatolia fragmented into several small emirates. The Turks gradually moved in on these states severally which eventually grew turn out to be the most significant empire in recent history, the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans ruled for significantly more than six centuries until 1922. The following year, Asia Minor became the more expensive part of the Turkish Republic led by Ataturk.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was the main drive behind the development of modern Turkey. The former army officer became Turkey’s first President and steered the nation from the wreckage of the Ottoman Empire. Ataturk introduced dramatic reforms that touched upon every part of Turkish life. There have been many significant changes including replacing the Arabic script with Latin characters. Primary education was made compulsory and religious law was abolished. Women were granted equal rights in matters of custody and inheritance and by 1934 women’s rights had extended to Universal Suffrage. Ataturk was and still is a national hero- an enormous presence in the long history of Turkey. In most town and village you will find reminders of the first choice everywhere you turn. As time goes by Ataturk becomes much more of a hero since the country’s people recognize his extraordinary influence for making Turkey what it’s today.
Turkish Food & Drink
Turkish food is amongst the best in the world. With enough climatic zones to grow most ingredients locally, there’s a vast array of produce to excite and entice the palate. Besides its famous kebab dishes, there are many other traditional Turkish foods to decide on from. Meze (appetisers) which is why Turkey is justly famous, are a range of hundreds of small dishes from simple combinations such as for instance cheese with melon to elaborately stuffed vegetables. They’re served in every Turkish restaurants and are traditionally accompanied with Raki, a clear anise- flavoured spirit claimed to be Turkey’s national alcoholic drink.
- Turkey’s hottest beers are the house produced Efes Pilsen and Tuborg, and whilst the wine industry has yet to realise it’s full potential, Kavaklidere and Doluca, the best known brands, produce a collection of both red and white wines.
- Shopping in Turkey offers probably the most unusual and diverse selection of gifts tempting even the non-shoppers amongst us.
- Traditional handicrafts such as for instance carpets, kilims, copper goods, painted ceramics and jewellery are popular buys, plus a good collection of leather goods, sandals and beachwear which can be within a lot of the larger resorts.
- In tourist and coastal areas, opening hours can be flexible and during summer time many shops stay open until late at night, seven days weekly, leaving tourists to browse at their leisure and escape the warmth of the day.
- In souvenir shops and stalls, it’s always worth trying a spot of haggling. For food shopping, local minimarkets provide basic essentials, whilst the supermarkets found near the more expensive resorts are just like those we are used to at home. Most resorts have a regular market selling local produce, crafts and textiles and are worth a visit.
Working with a car is one of the best techniques for getting to the shops, delivering the liberty to understand more about at the leisure. Local transport inside the towns and resorts is made up of dolmus or minibuses (taxis) that run from a single location to another and you can hop don / doff anywhere en route and pay using the distance travelled.
Activities in Turkey
Turkey offers numerous activities for couples and families alike. Watersports including windsurfing, parasailing, jet skiing and canoeing are popular on designated beaches in or near many of the larger resorts. Scuba can also be widely available, as well as calm, clear waters are fantastic for beginners and novice divers. Walking and trekking are increasingly becoming popular and they also offer among the ways to to explore the countryside.
Currency in Turkey
New Turkish Lira (YTL) is definitely the official currency in Turkey. “Y” is short for “Yeni” (“New”) in Turkish as the brand new notes and coins replaced that old currency which has been withdrawn from circulation in January 2006. It can be purchased from your bank earlier, where case we’d advise one to order no less than two weeks before your departure date. Alternatively you are able to change money, or travellers cheques once you’ve arrived in Turkey. It’s simple to alter all major currencies in return offices, post offices and hotels. Exchange offices will also be based in the arrivals halls at most Turkish aiports. Currency may be also purchased from ATM/cash machines throughout Turkey, providing the symbols within the machine match those in your debit/cash card.
Your bank are able to give you further information on employing your card abroad. Should you come across yourself in need of Turkish Lira at any time, many shops and restaurants within the coastal resorts and larger cities encourage payment in foreign currency. But if you are planning to travel to other areas, you need to carry some Turkish Lira. The New Turkish Lira also comes in notes of 5,10, 20, 50 and 100. The coins, called New Kurus (Ykr), are available 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 and the other New Turkish Lira. Over a hundred New Kurus equals one New Turkish Lira. Please note that Scottish currency isn’t accepted in Turkey. It is additionally worth noting they will not accept any foreign bank notes for exhange which might be ripped or have been scribbled on.
Turkey Passports & Visas
British citizens require a standard ten year passport which should be valid for about a few months following the date of arrival within the UK. Children under 16 years require their own passport if you’re not already over a parents passport before October 1998. British citizens (including infants) be forced to pay a tourist visa of £10 upon arrival. This must be paid in note form in cash. Scottish currency is not accepted in Turkey. Full details and applications for one full British passport can be purchased from main post offices or direct in the Passport Office. Non UK passport holders are recommended to make contact with the right Embassy in London as to their visa fee.
Turkey Time Difference
Turkey is couple of hours killing the UK. It is a great idea to your watch the instant you arrive, every airline timetables are expressed in local time.
Vaccinations for Turkey
No vaccination certificates are compulsory for entry to Turkey. Invariably you should talk with your personal doctor, in good time ahead of departure, if there is any inoculations the Department of Health consider necessary or advisable for any specific areas.
When To Go :
The leading season for people to Turkey’s western Aegean and Mediterranean coastal resorts is between May to October, when the next thunderstorm is settled and the days are long and sunny. Temperatures add mid 20°Cs early and late season, in the mid 30°Cs in the peak season of July and August and this is the favourite time to visit when all those activities are in full swing. The sea temperatures are warm and perfect for swimming throughout the summertime, as well as being not unusual so that you can swim in the sea even just in November. While in the coastal resorts there are an array of properties ideal for occupation at the end of autumn, winter and early spring where you could find the changing seasons. Please contact us a lot more information. There could be a different charge for heating. The Turkish resorts do quieten down in winter and quite a few facilities available during the summertime months most likely is not available during winter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I be able to use my phone?
In many instances, phone coverage in Turkey is very good – the exception being the various more remote and/or mountainous areas. One must always bear in mind when getting a British phone, in Turkey, to make contact with our overseas offices and staff, even though you are linking as long as a local network your call must be prefixed by 00 90 and you should then drop the first 0 for the Turkish phone number.
What currency will I require?
New Turkish Lira (YTL) is the state currency in Turkey. Currency can be bought in the UK but we advise you to order at the very least fourteen days before your departure date to avoid any last minute rush. Once in Turkey, it’s easy to alter up all major currencies in exchange offices, post offices (PTTs) and hotels. Currency could be also obtained from ATM/cash machines throughout Turkey, providing the symbols on the equipment match those on your debit/cash card. Your bank should be able to offer you more information on utilizing your card abroad. Should you find yourself short of Turkish Lira at any point, foreign currency, including pounds sterling, is readily accepted in several shops, hotels and restaurants in the tourist areas.
Travellers Cheques or Credit Cards?
Charge cards are actually very widely accepted in shops and some restaurants in the main towns and resorts. Though you ought to check always beforehand if you want to have dinner and pay afterwards utilizing the card. Many small, family run restaurants or establishments may not accept cards. Small villages and places’off the beaten track’could also not accept credit cards so have some cash handy. Currency could be obtained from ATM/cash machines throughout Turkey, providing the symbols on the equipment match those on your debit/cash card. Your bank should be able to offer you more information on utilizing your card abroad. Travellers Cheques could be cashed at banks, exchange bureaux and the majority of the larger hotels.
What is the voltage and do we have to use adaptors?
The present is 220 V. Wall sockets take two rounded pin plugs, like many European countries. You will be needing an adapter plug to use UK appliances.
Can there be an occasion difference?
Yes, Turkey is on GMT + 2 (daylight saving GMT +3 operates between late March to late September). Which means that for the majority of the year, Turkey is two hours in front of the UK. It is a good idea to adjust your watch the moment you arrive in Turkey.
What should I take?
It’s simple to find most western goods, including holiday essentials such as suntan and aftersun lotions, insect and mosquito repellents, and such like in the majority of the larger resorts and supermarkets. Taking these products with you saves time and also ensures that you’ll find your chosen brands. It’s worth having a high protection sunscreen, especially during high season when temperatures can soar, a wide-brimmed sun hat, and a mosquito repellent both for your room and a spray on your own if you are outside in the evenings. Also do take a European-type 2 pin adaptor for your electrical equipment – these can be difficult to locate in Turkey. A photocopy of one’s passport is helpful to keep on you as a means of ID, and if you are driving, a copy of one’s license as well to help keep in the car.
Are shops open on the day of our arrival?
During the summertime season, and especially in the resort areas, supermarkets, minimarkets and many shops are open daily, often till early evening.
As an over-all guideline opening days and times are the following:
- Banks: 09.00 – 12.00 and 13.30 – 17.00 Monday to Friday.
- Post Offices: (identified by yellow PTT signs) 08.00 – 20.00 Monday to Saturday, and 09.00 – 19.00 on Sundays.
- Museums – 09.00 – 17.00 Tuesday to Sunday.
- Chemists (eczane) – 09.00-19.00 Monday to Saturday. A duty chemist is appointed on a rota basis to keep open for 24 hours, details which are posted in any chemist’s front window.
- Shops: in the resorts, and particularly during the summertime months, bazaars and many tourist shops open daily from around 09.00 till late in the evening, often till 22.00. More regular type shops may close earlier in the evening, and on Sundays.
- Supermarkets: Most supermarkets are open daily, and the more expensive ones tend to be open till 22.00 during the summertime, a few open 24 hours.
- Cafés and restaurants tend to use open-ended hours and may not close till early in the morning.
There may be mosquito’s using areas so a plug in deterrent is an idea. Ants are frequent in a few rural areas.
What is driving like in Turkey?
As in the remaining Mediterranean, other road users might seem to the UK driver to drive unpredictably. The roads are often well kept while some coastal or mountain roads could be narrow and winding. You should be alert to these points:
- Traffic drives on the best in Turkey, which means you must give method to the best at junctions and roundabouts (vehicles joining the roundabout have right of way).
- The wearing of seat belts is compulsory.
- There are strict drink driving laws – the rule is absolutely no alcohol if you want to drive. Random tests can be common and police will issue on the spot fines.
- If another vehicle flashes it’s lights, what this means is that it’s coming through, not they are giving method to you.
- You must drive defensively at all times, and great care should be taken when driving after dark as you may encounter inadequately lit vehicles, slow moving lorries or animals wandering throughout the road.