Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use the local cash machines?
Cash machines (ATMs) are available throughout Turkey, accepting major European credit and bank cards and instructions are often available in English. It is advisable to inform your bank in advance that you are travelling to Turkey as some will automatically put a stop on cards after the first use in an attempt to combat fraud.
Can I use my credit card?
International credit and debit cards are widely accepted in shops and restaurants throughout Turkey. However it is advisable also to carry cash for the smaller shops and cafes, particularly in more rural areas.
What is the local currency?
The local currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TL) available in the following denominations: banknotes: 5, 10, 20, 50 &100 TL; coins: 10, 25 & 50 kuruş and 1 TL.
Cash can usually be exchanged without commission at bureau de changes (döviz), banks and hotels. Exchange rates are published daily in Turkish newspapers and can also be found in web site of Turkish Central Bank at http://www.tcmb.gov.tr (please click “bugün” under “TCMB Döviz Kurları” on the left column).
What should visitors dress in Turkey?
There are no hard and fast rules but it is best to use common sense when deciding what to wear. If staying on a beach resort it is fine to dress as you feel comfortable. For city breaks relaxed clothing is the most suitable with comfortable shoes and casual trousers and/or a dress if you intend to do lots of walking. When visiting mosques you should take off your shoes at the entrance and ladies should cover their hair; often scarves are provided on the way in. Both sexes should dress modestly with no shorts and arms and shoulders covered during visits to mosques.
Can I drive in Turkey?
Driving in Turkey is on the right-hand side as in continental Europe and visitors may drive with an international driving licence. You should have your driving licence, your passport and insurance documents of the vehicle with you. All of the major international car rental companies, as well as a number of local ones, have offices at airports and all major centres.
What is the mains supply voltage, will I need an adaptor?
The mains voltage for electricity is 220V and 50Hz. Central European type wall socket (two-pin plugs) is standard in Turkey.
Do I need to know Turkish in order to communicate?
English is Turkey's second widest spoken language and you will easily find English speakers in the major cities and holiday resorts. Restaurant menus and other information for foreigners are often printed in English.
Will I be able to use my mobile phone in Turkey?
The major GSM operators in Turkey are Turkcell, Vodafone and Avea. You can use your mobile phone in Turkey if your provider has enabled international roaming. However if you intend to stay for a long time in the country or make several calls, it may be preferable to buy a local prepaid SIM card. Take your mobile phone and passport to a Turkish mobile phone shop where your new SIM will be registered along with your handset's IMEI number and your personal information. (Unregistered phones will be blocked and unable to receive or make calls.) Turkey has very wide mobile coverage networks so you shouldn’t have any problems in the main cities and tourist resorts.
Are there mosquitoes in Turkey?
In the summer months there can be mosquitoes in some areas so it is advisable to use suitable repellent. However, no Malaria incident is observed in Turkey.
� What are the opening times for shops and other services?
Museums: 9 AM to 17 PM, Tuesday to Sunday.
Pharmacies: 9 AM to 19 PM, Monday to Saturday. 24-Hour duty pharmacies are available on a rota basis that the names and addresses can be found on any pharmacy.)
Banks: 9 AM to 17 PM, Monday to Friday. (Some closes for lunch brake.)
Post Offices: 9 AM to 17 PM, Monday to Friday. (Extended hours applied on peak periods at major Holiday destinations).
Shopping Centres are open seven days a week and stay open until late.
Is Turkey safe?
Turkey is one of the safest countries in the world with Interpol ranking it as one of the safest holiday destination in Europe. As is the case when travelling in any country though, do be careful with your personal possessions when out and about and never leave items unattended. You will find the police helpful and friendly and in many of the tourist resorts there are special tourism police who speak different languages.
What is the time difference?
Turkey is GMT+2, that is to say two hours ahead of the UK and one hours of the Central Europe.
Traveller’s Cheque: Can I use traveller’s cheques?
Traveller’s cheques can be exchanged at banks, some large hotels and bureau de changes (döviz).
Is any vaccination required for tourists entering Turkey?
There are no compulsory vaccinations for visitors entering Turkey though it is a good idea to be up-to-date with polio, tetanus, typhoid and if you are travelling to the east of the country.
Do I need a visa to visit Turkey?
While planning your trip to Turkey do not forget to check your passport if it is valid for at least 90 days. Depending on your nationality, most probably your stay as a tourist is limited up to 3 months (for one entrance). For tourist visas, there is no need to apply in advance or to fill in any forms. If you are flying to Turkey, you will buy your visa at the Turkish airport on arrival. You will see the visa desk, situated just before passport control. You must buy your visa, which will be stamped on your passport by the official, before you join the queue for passport control. The visa for UK passport holders currently costs £10 and must be paid for with a Sterling note. The visa for other EU state-passport holders currently costs € 10 and must be paid for with a Euro note. Visas are multiple entries and are valid for three months. Each passport-holder, including infants, must purchase a visa. With tourist visas you will not have the right to take up paid or unpaid employment or to reside, or to study (including student exchange program) or to establish yourself in business in Turkey.