Turkey Travel Notes

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Australian Embassy in Turkey

MNG Building
Ugur Mumcu Caddesi No: 88
7th floor, Gaziosmanpasa 06700
Ankara, Turkey
Tel  +90 312 459 9500
Fax +90 312 446 4827
www.turkey.embassy.gov.au

Australian Consulate-General, Istanbul

Asker Ocagi Cad. No: 15
Elmadag Sisli 34367
Istanbul
Tel  + 90 212 243 1333
Fax +90 212 243 1332

Smartraveller

The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade website has advice for travellers.
www.smartraveller.gov.au

Visa to enter Turkey

The Republic of Turkey requires all visitors to now obtain an electronic visa prior to departing Australia. Travellers must apply for authorisation using the following official Turkish government website
www.evisa.gov.tr

The current cost of the electronic visa is  US$60 for  Australian citizens. Payment can only be made by MasterCard or Visa and debit cards are acceopted. The e-visa is only valid for a period of 180 days from date of issue. To finalise this process you will need to print your e-visa confirmation and take this with you to Turkey. The document is e-mailed to you in a printable format.

Time Zones

Turkey is on GMT +2 time making it 9 hours behind Australia. When Turkey is on daylight saving time (GMT+3) it is 7 hours behind Australia.  Daylight Saving starts on the last Sunday in March and ends on the last Sunday in October.  To obtain the current local time and date in cities and countries in all time zones.
www.worldtimeserver.com

Voltages and Plugs

Turkey use 220 volts. Plugs are of the two-round-pronged European type.  
www.korjo.com/Adaptor-Guide

Currency

To obtain the most up-to-date exchange rate you may wish to visit
www.xe.com/currencyconverter

The New Turkish Lira (NTL) was introduced at the beginning of 2005. This removes the millions from the old lira, eg 1 million old lira is now 1 New Turkish Lira (1 Yeni Turk Lira). 1 new Lira = 100 kurus.

Notes are in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 new lira. Coins are in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 new kurus and 1 new lira.

Credit Cards and ATM machines

ATMs are the easiest way to access your money, however don’t solely rely on your ATM card as your main source of cash in the event that you cannot find a machine that will accept your card. Always have a mixture of cash (in small denominations), an ATM card and major credit cards. They are common in all towns and cities. Most accept Visa, MasterCard, Electron, Cirrus, Maestro and InterBank cards. ATMs sometimes run dry on weekends in smaller towns.

Please note that using a credit card in foreign countries usually requires a new “chip-and-pin” credit card with an embedded microchip and an associated PIN number (the PIN is specific to each credit card). If you have questions about using your credit card in a foreign country, please contact your bank prior to departure from Australia. Check with your credit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Cash

We usually recommend US dollars or Euros for travel to Turkey however, you will have to change whatever currency you have into the local currency – the Turkish Lira. Currency can be exchanged at banks, exchange bureaux and larger hotels, though you may get a better exchange rate at the ATMs.
Travelers Cheques are NO longer accepted.

Telephone & Communication

Mobile telephones
Most mobile telephones work in Turkey and coverage is good in cities. Check with your local provider that your phone can switch on ‘Global Roaming’ and that your provider has coverage in the places you are visiting. Mobile phones can be very useful for SMSing  (especially if you get lost!). International calls are often expensive, as is checking your message bank as calls have to be routed through Australia.

Should you choose to purchase a local sim card please check with your local provider prior to departure to make sure your phone is unlocked and will accept another sim card.

Internet
Internet access is becoming more widespread throughout Turkey. Many hotels and cafes now offer access, some you need to pay while others have free Wi-fi zones.

If you have Web access while traveling, you might consider a broadband-based telephone service (in technical terms, Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP) such as Skype  or Vonage, which allows you to make free international calls between online computers and phones, and cheap international calls if you’re calling a normal phone number. Most cybercafes throughout the country will be using these programs already, complete with headset, microphone, and webcam.
www.skype.com     www.vonage.com

Business Hours in Turkey

Offices & Banks  8.30 – 12.00 then reopen 13.30 or 17.00
Shops  9.00 – 19.00
In tourist areas food and souvenir/carpet shops are usually open from around 8.00 – 23.00
Grocery shops are usually open from 7.00 – 20.00 daily
Smaller towns and Villages may not open until late or as long on the weekends

Personal Safety
  • We strongly recommend the use of a money belt to keep your cash, cards and travel documents safe. This should be kept under your clothes at all times. This is a precaution that should be taken anywhere due to the difficulties that can be experienced in trying to replace stolen items.
  • Take photocopies of all important documents (passport, credit cards, airline tickets, insurance) and keep one copy securely in your luggage and leave another copy at home.
  • It is generally helpful to take a business card from the hotel you are staying at. This can assist hugely if you get lost. If you also have a key card for your hotel, make sure you keep these two cards separate or you run the risk of allowing a thief access to your room
  • Take extra care in crowded places and try not to ‘advertise’ the fact that you may be carrying valuables by having something like an expensive camera over your shoulder. Put it in your bag or under your coat. And men, try to avoid keeping your wallet in your hip pocket.
  • Be wary of pickpockets in buses, markets and other crowded places. Keep an eye out for anyone lurking near ATMs
What to Pack

Clothing (general)
The time of the year you visit this destination will dictate the type of clothing it is appropriate to bring. It would always be advisable to take a rain coat or a water proof windbreaker. For daytime activities, we suggest a wardrobe that is versatile, casual and comfortable. It is recommended that “layered” clothing might offer the best comfort in a variety of conditions. Always expect the weather to be changeable.

Beyond the normal wardrobe we suggest

  • comfortable walking shoes (very important)
  • sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat
  • folding umbrella and/or light raincoat
  • ladies should have a scarf with them at all times in case it is required to cover shoulders or head when entering religious sites
  • prescription medicines for the full duration of your time away and a written copy of your prescriptions including what they are for, provided by your doctor
  • extra prescription eyeglasses (if required)
  • Toilet Paper – outside of major hotels and tourist restaurants a supply of toilet paper is unlikely. Many toilets are squat toilets, especially in villages and remote areas
  • wet wipes – It is a very good idea to pack a good supply of wet wipes or disinfectant gel. Hand-washing facilities are not readily available in rural areas
  • water bottle – All group members will be given bottles of water each day of the tour. Sometimes the water distributed to group members is in very large bottles. You may wish to bring a water bottle of a manageable size and pour the water as desired
Etiquette
  • No attempt should be made to photograph anything remotely connected with the armed forces or in the vicinity of defence installations. Many people do not like being photographed. Always ask before photographing someone, they may try to obtain money from you.
  • Shaking hands is far more prevalent in Turkish society than ours. Almost any meeting between men for any reason will be preceded by handshakes and a quick embrace. Turkish women do not normally shake hands, but a Turk will sometimes offer his to a non-Turkish female guest.

Clothing (Churches, Mosques and Monasteries)
Although ‘foreigners’ do not have to adhere to a strict dress rules, women should wear a head covering (ie a scarf) in active churches. Men must remember to remove their hats in religious buildings. In churches it is polite to stand around the edges of the building, rather than in the centre. It is acceptable for foreigners to light candles.

Useful websites

Turkey Tourist Board
www.tourismturkey.org
World Airport Guide
www.worldairportguides.com
Guide for world airports by car, bus, train and other forms of public transport
www.toandfromtheairport.com

Climate

We suggest that prior to departure you check the weather forecast for the most up-to-date information.
www.worldweatheronline.com

Average minimum/maximum Temperatures (˚C)

City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Ankara -5/4 -4/6 -1/12 4/17 9/23 12/27 16/31 16/31 10/26 6/20 1/12 -2/6
Edirne -1/7 0/10 3/14 7/19 11/25 16/30 18/32 18/32 13/27 10/21 4/14 1/8
Gaziantep  -1/9 0/10 4/15 8/21 12/27 18/33 22/37 22/37 17/32 11/25 5/17 1/10
Istanbul 3/9 3/9 4/12 8/17 12/22 18/27 21/29 21/29 16/25 12/20 9/15 5/11
Kusadasi 7/13 7/14 8/16 11/20 15/25 20/30 23/33 23/33 19/29 16/24 11/19 9/15
Trabzon  4/10 3/10 5/12 8/16 12/19 17/24 20/27 21/28 18/24 14/21 8/16 6/13
Van  -8/2 -7/3 -3/7 3/14 7/18 11/24 15/28 15/28 11/24 6/18 0/11 -5/5