The Must-Visit Places of Turkey
Having the diversity by merging Asia and Europe makes Turkey one of the must-visit countries around the world. Not only hosting four seasons that natural beauties to visit each season by combining blue and green perfectly but also showing the architecture, art, history in the buildings that are heritages from the past -being the home to many civilizations for centuries.
Turkey is important for combining different cultures, religions, and people of various ethnicities. Especially the time when Christianity was about to spread, the missionary Pavlus’ tries concluded as a result of the Seven Churches during the Roman Empire, including Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamon, Sardes,
Philadelphia, Laodikeia, and Thyateira.
It is impossible to explain each place to go when you visit Turkey for sure, but we summarized the most important and the best places you should definitely discover while your stay in Turkey.
Istanbul is the best-known city in Turkey, also the largest one. Offering the well-preserved architectural beauties and being located along between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, Istanbul is where the West meets the East, both geographically and culturally. Affected by the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, Istanbul reflects a multicultural sight worth visiting. It is proved that you will enjoy all the experiences you have in Istanbul, seeing the Bosphorus, the Grand Bazaar, the Hagia Sophia and many more streets, mosques, museum, and many more. You should also try the Turkish cuisine having a various range of foods and drinks.
Gallipoli is a seaport having great importance both by historical relevance and hosting remarkable battles, the Trojan War and the Battle of Canakkale –during World War I-. Gallipoli Battlefields, Brighton Beach, Chunuk Bair New Zealander Memorial, Kabatepe War Museum, Lone Pine Australian Memorial, Ancient City of Troy and The Temple of Athena are the most important historic places to see.
Cappadocia is known by the stunning “fairy chimneys” rock formations. There are hundreds of these astounding formations which rise from the ground. And they are interspersed with the homes and the villages. The chimneys are unique because some of them have been transformed into churches that are decorated magnificently with underground cities and homes throughout the region of Cappadocia. You may have seen the balloons’ pictures everywhere, it is exactly the amazing bird’s eye view in balloon tours of Cappadocia. The best thing is that you really do not need to watch from the air, you can easily see the fairytale landscape only by watching from the ground.
Ephesus is an ancient site and Europe’s most complete classical metropolis in Aegean Turkey. Being one of the largest cities in Roman Empire and boasting the Temple of Artemis (one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World), ruins of Ephesus are well-preserved and contained inside a large archaeological site. The massive Theatre, the eye-brightening Celsus Library and the Temple of Hadrian make Ephesus have the huge tourist attractions.
Pamukkale is famous for being a spa center, especially during the Roman times. Being a World Heritage site of UNESCO, Pamukkale has the travertines and limestones having calcium and hydrogen carbonate meaning the contribution to health. And it is how Pamukkale has its whiteness and the pools.
Antalya is a vibrant and large city on the Mediterranean where both local and international tourists come to visit every year. On one hand, the gorgeous beaches for swimming and other watersports and lush green mountains for climbing and camping. On the other hand, amazing ancient ruins making you feel and smell the old times’ history. Kaleiçi, Old Quarter, Roman Gates and the Clock Tower are the most famous places to visit in this beautiful city.
Useful information about system in Turkey
There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency that may be brought into Turkey, but not more than 55,000 worth of Turkish currency may be brought into or taken out of the country.
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, and when taking souvenirs out of the country (to prove that they have been purchased with legally exchanged foreign currency).
The following items may be brought into the country duty free personal effects of the tourist.
One TV, one color 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, flageolet, 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 snuff (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 Year's.
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: (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 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 and Research). Etudler Dairesi 06520, Ankara. Phone: +90 312 287 3430 /1622, Fax: +90 312 285 4271
You Can Receive a Tax Refund for the Goods You Purchased In Turkey!
Refunds will be made to travelers who do not reside in Turkey.
All goods (including food and drinks) are included in the refunds with the exclusion of services rendered.
The minimum amount of purchase that qualifies for refund is 100.TRY
Retailers that qualify for tax refunds must be "authorized 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 and stamp the copies to validate them. If you prefer the refund to be made by check, a Tax-free Shopping Check 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 and! or check.
There are four ways to receive your refund:
If the retailer gives you a check it can be cashed at a bank in the customs area at the airport. If it is not possible to cash the check upon departure or if you do not wish to cash it then, .e customer must, within one month, send a copy of the receipt showing that the goods have left the country to the retailer who will, within ten days upon receiving the receipt, send a bank transfer to the purchaser's hank or address.
If the certified receipt and check are brought back to the retailer on a subsequent visit thin one-month of the date of customs certification, the refund can be made directly to the purchaser.
Retailers may directly refund the amount to trustworthy customers upon purchase.
The refund may be made by the organization of those companies that are authorized to make tax refunds.
Additional information: Ministry of Finance and Tax Dept. General Directorate, (Maliye Bakanligi, Gelirler Genel Mudurlugu) KDV Subesi 06100, Ulus - Ankara
Phone: +90 312 310 3880 / 725 - 728 - 735, Fax: +90 312 311 4510
Turkish Tourist Health Society (Turizm Sagligi Dernegi-Hacettepe Universitesi Tip Fakultesi Plastik ve Rekonstrüktif Cerrahi Ana Bilim Dali, Sihhiye 06100 ANKARA
Phone: +90 312 311 9393 - 310 98 08) performs the functions below, to provide the travelers in the entire country, mainly in the touristic regions, with proper
to secure food hygiene
to prevent environmental pollution
to ensure hygiene and healthy working-conditions in touristic establishments.
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 and older
An International Certificate of Health issued within 15 days before the travel
The Identification Card
If you have an official certificate, you may bring one cat, one bird, one dog and 10 aquarium fish into the country. To get information for the importation of pets, please see the Consular Services.
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:
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 be visible.
Transit book "Carnet de passage" (for those who want to proceed to the Middle East).
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 Otomobil Kurumu) 1. Sanayi Sitesi Yani, 4.Levent, Istanbul, Phone: +90 212 282 8140 (7 lines).
The General Directorate of Customs (Gümrükler Genel Mudurlugu), Ulus Ankara
Phone: +90 312 310 3880, 310 3818, Fax: +90 312 311 1346, before the end of the period declared.
In Case of Acciden
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 phone:
Trafik Polisi (Traffic Police), Phone: 154
Jandarma (Gendarme), Phone: 156
For more information, contact the Touring and Automobile Association of Turkey.
Formalities for Private Yacht Owners
Yachts require a Transit Log and 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 and 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, Datça, Bodrum, Güllük Didim, Kusadasi, Çesme, Izmir, Dikili, Ayvalik, Akçay, Çanakkale, Bandirma, Tekirdag, Istanbul, Zonguldak, Sinop, Samsun, Ordu, Giresun, Trabzon, Rize, Hopa.
All the required information concerning the yacht, yachtsmen, members, intended route, passports, customs declarations, health clearance, and any obligatory matters must be entered in the Transit Log.
The Transit Log is to be completed by the captain of a yacht under a foreign flag or amateur sailor acting as captain of the vessel.
The Transit Log is completed upon first entering a Turkish port and, generally, it is necessary to contact the Harbor Authority before leaving. For information on tax-free fuel, contact the Marina Harbor Office.
If you have a certificate from the Tourism Ministry Yacht Harbor, you may take petrol at no charge, provided you possess an official marina license.
Formalities for Private Plane Owners
When coming to Turkey, international air routes should be 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), Ulus Ankara
Phone: +90 312 310 3880, 310 3818, Fax: +90 312 311 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. Müd.). Bosna-Hersek Cad., No: 5 - 06338 - Emek, Ankara.
Phone: +90 312 212 6730, Fax: +90 312 2124684, TIx : 44659 Ga-tr.
Diving for purposes of sport, with proper equipment and in non-restricted areas, is permitted. Foreign divers should have official documentation of their specifics and training and must be accompanied, when diving, by a licensed Turkish guide.
The limit for diving with diving gear is 30 meters. For educational purposes, this limit is extended to 42 meters. Dives exceeding 30 meters must be carried out with proper diving and medical equipment. In order to protect Turkish archaeological and 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, and 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 and travelers' cheques. There is also an express postal service (APS) operating to 90 countries for letters , documents and 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 , and tokens (";jeton") in three sizes are used. Local, inter-city and 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 and 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:
118 Unknown Numbers
161 PTT Information
Monday-Friday (8:30-12:30), (13:30-17:30)
Monday-Friday (8:30-12-00), (13:30-17:00)
Monday-Saturday (9:30-13:00), (14:00-19:00)
But most of shops in touristic cities are open during high season (May to October) till midnight, may be more...
Big shopping malls are open till 22:00
Istanbul Covered market: Monday-Saturday (8:00-19:00)
During summer months, the government offices and many other establishments in the Aegean and Mediterranean Regions are closed in the afternoon. These fixed summer hours are determined by the governing bodies of the provinces.
Other Practical Information
Local time: GMT+3 hours (April-September) GMT+3 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.
Petrol: Super (premium) - Unleaded (at some places). Normal (regular) - Diesel.
Electricity: 220 volts AC/50 Hz. all over Turkey. (Industrial:380 V) Plug: European round/ 2-prong plug.
Water: Although tap water is safe to drink since it is chlorinated, it is recommended to get advice from the conceded authorities of the places resided.
Weights and 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
Area: 1 acres = 0,4047 Hectares, 1 hectare = 2.471 acres
1 UK gallon = 4.546 liters, 1 liter = 0.2199 UK gallons
1 US gallon = 3.7831 liters, 1 liter = 0.2643 US gallons
Newspapers and Magazines:
Foreign newspapers and magazines are available in big cities and tourist areas. Also there is a Turkish daily newspaper, Daily News, published in English.
At various establishments like hotels, restaurants, Turkish baths, barbers and hairdressers, tipping at a rate of 5%-15% of the total is common. Taxi and "dolmus" drivers on the other hand, do not expect tips or even rounded fares.
Visiting a mosque:
Five times a day, the "müezzin" 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.)