Turkey

All you want to know about Turkey

A bridge between two continents, Turkey is rapidly becoming one of the best medical service providers in the world.

BASIC INFORMATIONS

General information

Official Name

Republic of Turkey

Language

Turkish

Capital

Ankara

Population

80,810,525 (December 2017)

Area

780,580 sq. km

Country Dialing Code

+90

Pietra Global General Information

Location:

Turkey is located in Southeastern Europe and Southwestern Asia. European (or Balkan) Turkey is relatively small compared to the Asian part, the Anatolian Plateau, which is a large peninsula.

Landscape:

The Asian part of the country – Anatolia is a high hilly plateau with narrow coastal plains. Its northern part is covered by the Pontic and Köroğlu mountain ranges, the southern by Taurus Mountains. Eastern Turkey has a more mountainous landscape. The rivers Euphrates, Tigris and Aras spring there. Anatolia is surrounded by the Black Sea to the north, Aegean sea to the West and the Mediterranean sea to the south. The European part is covered by parts of Eastern Thrace plane and Strandzha mountain. It is separated by Anatolia (Asia Minor) by the Black Sea, Bosphorus, Marmara, Dardanelles and Aegean sea. The biggest town in Turkey is Istanbul, which steps on both continents.

State Government:

Turkey is a republican parliamentary democracy. Turkey is the only country with a Muslim majority population (99.8%) that operates under a secular constitution and a democratic government.

Religions:

Islam is the largest religion of Turkey, with 99.8 % of the population being registered as Muslim (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews).

Time Difference:

Turkey is in the Eastern European Time Zone. Eastern European Standard Time (EET) is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2). Like most states in Europe, Summer (Daylight-Saving) Time is observed in Turkey, where the time is shifted forward by 1 hour; 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+3).

After the Summer months, the time in Turkey is shifted back by 1 hour to Eastern European Time (EET) or (GMT+2)

Weather: Aegean and Mediterranean coastal areas enjoy the typical Mediterranean climate. There is hardly a drop of rain during the sunny and hot summer (May to October). The water temperature in the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas is warm and fluctuates between 23° and 28°C from north to south. The region around the Sea of Marmara, including Istanbul, has a transitional climate between Oceanic climate and semi-Mediterranean climate. The water temperature in the Sea of Marmara is also colder than the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas reaching only between 20° and 24°C during the summer (June, July and August). The Black Sea region has an oceanic climate (thanks to the protective shield effect of Caucasus mountains) with the greatest amount of precipitation throughout the year.

Most of the coastal areas have a high level of relative humidity during most of the year which makes hot weather feel hotter and cold weather feel colder than it actually is.

Measure units:

Degree Celsius (ºC), meter (m.), litre (l.).

GOOD TO KNOW

Language

Turkish language belongs to the Altay branch of the Ural-Altaic linguistic family, same as Finnish and Hungarian. It is the westernmost of the Turkic languages spoken across Central Asia and is generally classified as a member of the South-West group, also known as the Oguz group. Until 1928, Turkish was written with a version of the Perso-Arabic script known as the Ottoman Turkish script. In 1928, as part of his efforts to modernise Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk issued a decree replacing the Arabic script with a version of the Latin alphabet, which has been used ever since.

Most Useful Turkish Words and Phrases

EnglishTürkçe (Turkish)
WelcomeHoş geldin (sg) Hoş geldiniz (pl/frm)
HelloMerhaba, Selam, İyi günler
Alo, Efendim (on the phone)

How are you?

I’m fine, thanks. And you?

Nasılsınız? (frm)
Nasılsın? (inf)
İyiyim teşekkür ederim, siz nasılsınız (frm)
İyiyim sağol, sen nasılsın (inf)

What’s your name?

My name is …

İsminiz nedir? (frm)
İsmin ne? (inf)
Adınız ne? (frm)
Adın ne?(inf)
İsmim … (inf/frm)
Adım … (inf/frm)

Where are you from?

I’m from …

Nerelisin? (inf)
Nerelisiniz? (frm)
…lıyım
…liyim
…den
..dan
Pleased to meet youTanıştıǧımıza memnun oldum/Memnun oldum
Good morningGünaydın
Good afternoonTünaydın, İyi günler
Good eveningİyi akşamlar
Good nightİyi geceler
GoodbyeHoşçakal/Güle, güle
Good luckİyi şanslar!
Cheers/Good health!Şerefe! (to honour)
Sağlığına! (sg) Sağlığınıza! (pl/frm) – to your health
Have a nice dayİyi günler!
I understandAnlıyorum
I don’t understandAnlamıyorum, Anlamadım
Do you speak English?İngilizce biliyor musun? (inf)
İngilizce biliyor musunuz? (frm)

Do you speak Turkish?

Yes, a little

Türkçe biliyor musun? (inf)
Türkçe biliyor musunuz? (frm)
Çok az Türkçe biliyorum
Excuse meİzninizle /Pardon, geçebilir miyim?(to get past)
Pardon, bakar mısınız?(to get attention)
How much is this?Ne kadar?
SorryPardon (inf) Özür dilerim (frm)

Thank you

Response

Teşekkür ederim, Çok teşekkür ederim
Teşekkürler, Sağol, Sağolun
Bir şey değil / Rica ederim
Where’s the toilet?Tuvalet nerede?
Help!Fire!Stop!İmdat!
Yangın!
Dur!
Call the police!Polis çağırın!

TRAVEL BASICS

Discover Turkey and first class hospitality

Pietra Global Turkey

Climate

With such a large landmass, Turkey enjoys a variety of climates, earning the country the nickname ‘the land of four seasons’.

In Istanbul and around the sea of Marmara the climate is moderate. The average temperature in winter is 4°C and in summer – 27°C (39 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit). In Western Turkey there is a mild Mediterranean climate with average temperatures of 9°C in winter and 29°C in summer. The climate of the Anatolian Plateau is a steppe climate (there is a great temperature difference between day and night). Rainfall is low but in winter there is more snow. The average temperature is 23°C in summer and -2 in winter. The climate in the Black Sea area is wet, warm and humid (summer 23, winter 7). In Eastern and South-Eastern Anatolia there is a long hard winter and sometimes the snow falls from November until the end of April (the average temperature in winter is -13 and in summer 17°C).

Pietra Global General Information

Foods & Drinks

Fully justifying its reputation, Turkish Cuisine is always a pleasant surprise for the visitor. It combines Mediterranean, Central Asian, Caucasian, and Arabic influences, and is extremely rich. Beef is the most important meat (lamb is also common while pork is forbidden & extremely hard but not impossible to find).

The most common preparations are roasting and grilling, which produce the famous Turkish kebaps, including döner kebap and köfte. Kebabs are dishes of plain or marinated meat either stewed or grilled. Almost every district of Anatolia has its own kebap specialty. Eggplant (aubergine), onion, lentil, bean, tomato, garlic, and cucumber are the primary vegetables. An abundance of spices is also used. The main staples are rice (pilav), bulgur wheat and bread, and dishes are typically cooked in vegetable oil or sometimes butter. 

Among the national drinks, Turkish coffee, Turkish tea, ayran, shira, salgam, sahlep and boza should be mentioned. Turkish coffee comes thick and dark in a small cup and may be served with or without sugar. If you like alcohol you can try “Raki” (clear grape brandy flavored with anise and diluted with water).

Money

The unit of Turkish money is the Turkish Lira (Türk Lirası, TL or TRY). It’s usually best to obtain your Turkish liras in Turkey rather than before you leave home, as the exchange rates outside Turkey are usually not as good as those inside the country. Sterling, Euros, and Dollars can be easily changed into Turkish Lira at all banks, post offices (PTT) and change offices.

There are legal exchange offices in all cities and almost any town. You can see the rates office offers on the (usually electronic) boards located somewhere near its gate.

At change bureaus always shop around for the best exchange rate. Make sure the commission rate is no higher than 3%.

Pietra Global Turkey

Communication

Internet

Wifi Internet access, usually free, is common all over Turkey. Virtually all hotels, hostels, dorms, rental apartments, and even tree houses have Wifi. Also in Turkey almost all restaurants, cafes and public spaces have free broadband internet access.

Phone calls

While not as common as they used to be, possibly because of the widespread use of mobile phones, public pay phones can still be found at the sides of central squares and major streets in towns and cities and around post offices (PTT), especially around their outer walls. With the phase-out of old magnetic cards, public phones now operate with chip Telekom cards which are available in 30, 60 or 120 units and can be obtained at post offices, newspaper and tobacco kiosks. (However, emergency numbers can be called without card or anything from these phones.)

Pietra Global Turkey

Emergency

There is no guarantee that any English will be spoken on any of these emergency and helpline telephone numbers. Calls to the following emergency numbers are free of charge; the lines are available 24 hours a day.

 

Health Emergency 112
Police 155
Fire 110
Registration for International calls 115
Tourism Police (0212) 527 45 03
Tourism Info (all over Turkey) 170

Electricity

The mains voltage for electricity is 220V and 50Hz.
Central European type wall socket (two-pin plugs) is standard in Turkey.