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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Turkey Travel Requirements

When to go
Spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) are best. The climate is perfect on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts then, as well as in Istanbul. In high summer the coastal resorts are stinking hot: your body may like to do as the locals do and take a siesta during the heat of the day.

From late October to early April, the beach scene more or less shuts down. There's little rain between May and October except along the Black Sea coast, but from about mid-June, the mosquitoes come out in plague proportions in some areas. Eastern Turkey should really be visited from late June to September, as snow may close roads and mountain passes in the colder months.

Getting There
There are plenty of ways to get into and out of Turkey by air, sea, rail and bus, across the borders of seven countries. There are international airports at Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and some of the Mediterranean resorts. Turkish Airlines has direct flights from Istanbul to two dozen European cities and New York, as well as the Middle East, North Africa, Bangkok, Karachi, Singapore and Tokyo. Departure tax is about US$12.

By train, the daily Istanbul Express links Munich, Slovenia, Croatia, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria to Istanbul. Major European cities such as Frankfurt and Vienna are also well serviced by Turkish bus lines. There are daily train and bus connections between Athens and Istanbul via Thessaloniki. The bus is much faster than the train. You can also travel by bus to Syria, Georgia and Iran, and by train to Armenia. Turkish Maritime Lines runs car ferries from Antalya, Marmaris and Izmir to Venice weekly from May to mid-October. Private ferries run between Turkey's Aegean coast and the Greek islands.

The currency is in Turkish Lira (TL). Notes are in denominations of TL5,000,000, 1,000,000, 500,000 and 250,000. Coins are in denominations of TL250,000, 100,000, 50,000, 25,000, 10,000, 5000, 2500, 1000 and 500.

Credit cards
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted. Check with your credit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Travelers cheques & Eurocheques
Cheques can be cashed immediately upon proof of identity. However, it may take several days to cash cheques from private accounts. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in Pounds Sterling.

Currency restrictions
There are no restrictions on the import of local or foreign currency, though visitors bringing in a large amount of foreign currency should obtain a written declaration from the Turkish authorities. No more than the equivalent of US$5000 in local currency may be exported. Foreign currency may be exported up to US$5000, but no more than the amount imported and declared.

Banking hours
Hours are from 0830-1200 and 1330-1700 Monday to Friday.

Passport valid for at least 6 months (if visa is issued on arrival) and at least 1 year (if visa is issued by the Turkish Consulate) required by all, except nationals of 1. Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland who can enter with a national ID card.

Required by all except the following:
(a)Nationals of EU countries for stays of up to 3 months (except nationals of Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the UK who do need visas, but can obtain them at point of entry for a fee).

(b)Nationals of Argentina, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, Chile, Ecuador, Fiji, Grenada, Iceland, Iran, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya, Korea (Rep. of), Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Qatar, St Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Vatican City for stays of up to 3 months.

(c)Nationals of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Indonesia, Romania and Slovenia for stays of up to 2 months.

(d)Nationals of Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and South Africa for stays of up to 1 month.

Duty Free
The following goods may be imported into Turkey without incurring customs duty:

(a)200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 200g of tobacco and 200 cigarette papers or 50g of chewing tobacco or 200g of pipe tobacco or 200g of snuff tobacco.
(b)5 bottles (1 liter) or 7 bottles (700ml) of wine or spirits, reasonable amounts of coffee and tea.
(c)5 bottles (up to 120ml) of perfume.
(d)And gifts up to a value of DM500.

Prohibited imports
More than two sets of playing cards, narcotics, sharp implements and weapons.

Restricted exports
(a)The export of souvenirs such as carpets is subject to customs regulations regarding age and value.
(b)The export of antiques is forbidden, according to a list available from the Turkish Embassy, Financial and Customs Counsellor's Office.
(c)Minerals may only be exported under licence from the General Directorate of Mining Exploration and Research.

Social conventions
Shaking hands is the normal form of greeting. Hospitality is very important and visitors should respect Islamic customs. Informal wear is acceptable, but beachwear should be confined to the beach or poolside. Smoking is widely acceptable but prohibited in cinemas, theatres, city buses and dolmuses (collective taxis).

A service charge is included in hotel and restaurant bills.


Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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