All you want to know about Turkey.
A bridge between two continents, Turkey is rapidly becoming one of the best international health tourism service providers in the world.
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.
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, the 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.
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.
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).
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)
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 is.
Degree Celsius (ºC), meter (m.), liter (l.).
GOOD TO KNOW
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 modernize 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
Hoş geldin (sg) Hoş geldiniz (pl/frm)
Merhaba, Selam, İyi günler
How are you?
I’m fine, thanks. And you?
İyiyim teşekkür ederim, siz nasılsınız (frm)
What’s your name?
My name is …
İsminiz nedir? (frm)
İsmim … (inf/frm)
Where are you from?
I’m from …
Pleased to meet you
Tanıştığımıza memnun oldum/Memnun oldum
Tünaydın, İyi günler
Şerefe! (to honour)
Have a nice day
I don’t understand
Do you speak English?
İngilizce biliyor musun? (inf)
Do you speak Turkish?
Yes, a little
Türkçe biliyor musun? (inf)
Çok az Türkçe biliyorum
İzninizle /Pardon, geçebilir miyim? (to get past)
How much is this?
Pardon (inf) Özür dilerim (frm)
Teşekkür ederim, Çok teşekkür ederim
Bir şey değil / Rica ederim
Where’s the toilet?
Call the police!
Discover Turkey and first class hospitality
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).
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).
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 every town. You can see the rates the 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%.
Wi-Fi Internet access, usually free, is common all over Turkey. Virtually all hotels, hostels, dorms, rental apartments, and even tree houses have Wi-Fi. Also, in Turkey almost all restaurants, cafes and public spaces have free broadband internet access.
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 a card or anything from these phones.)
|Registration for International calls||115|
|Tourism Police||(0212) 527 45 03|
|Tourism Info (all over Turkey)||170|
The mains voltage for electricity is 220V and 50Hz.
Central European type wall socket (two-pin plugs) is standard in Turkey.