Turkey is one of the world's top 10 travel destinations, welcoming more than 23 million visitors every year.
Today the heritages and mythologies of these antique civilazations are widely spread all over the country, with Istanbul, Ephesus, Troya, Gallipoli, Cappadocia, 7 Churches of Revelation, Mount Ararat and Antalya being the most popular destinations to see and touch them, among the tourists from all around the world.
Surrounded by beachy Mediterranean, Aegean, Marmara and Black Sea shores, Turkey is also a paradise for a relaxing summer holiday. It has an abundance of plant and wildlife species that can be enjoyed while camping or trekking in the many national parks which are dotted around the country.
Whether you enjoy strolling through antique cities or going diving, the different regions of Turkey offer endless possibilities all year round. Each area has its own personality, history, landscape and even cuisine, and with so much on offer to visitors it is not surprising that one trip to Turkey is never enough..
Culture & Art
Turkey's history of human habitation goes back 25,000 years. Some of the earliest-known human communities are here. Hittites, Phrygians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders, Seljuks, Mongols, Ottomans and others have all left their works of art and culture in what is now the Turkish homeland.
With nearly 8400 km (5200 mi) of coastline, water sports and yachting are big favorites. Hiking, white-water rafting, mountain-climbing and bicycling,
hot-air ballooning are all important, and growing, as is skiing.
Turkish food is now world-famous, and rightly so. The abundance of its fields, farms, orchards, flocks and fishing boats is exceptional, and Turkish chefs take full advantage of this bounty. Everyone comments on how good the food is.
Turkey is 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time in summer (March-October) and 2 hours ahead for the rest of the year.
The current is 220V. and plugs have two round pins. You will need a transformer to use 110V appliances from the US.
Banks open 8.30am-noon and 1.30-5pm Monday to Friday, a few larger branches also open on Saturday mornings. All have 24-hour cash dispensers. Post offices open 9am-5pm Monday to Saturday. Shops are open 10am-6pm Monday to Saturday, with some local stores, malls and large shops open longer. Museums are usually open 9am-5pm (closed Monday or Tuesday).
In addition to five state holidays, there are two principal religious festivals: Seker Bayrami, which follows the holy month of Ramazan , and Kurban Bayrami: during Ramazan, no water or food is allowed to touch the lips during daylight hours. Nothing actually shuts down, but daily life is disrupted (although the parties at night can be spectacular). The dates of Ramazan, Seker Bayrami and Kurban Bayrami move backwards by 11 days each year. Christmas Day is not a Muslim festival, but is still celebrated by a large number of Turks.
Post and Couriers
Post offices and boxes can be recognized by a yellow and blue PTT logo. Stamps can only be bought at post offices and PTT kiosks. The post can be slow, so if you want to send purchases home, use a courier firm for speed-all the main courier companies have offices in Istanbul.
Most tourist hotels, of any standard, have a computer with free Internet access in the lobby. Many also offer free Wi-Fi, as do some cafes.
Turkey’s mobile phone system is compatible with UK phones, but we cell phones may not work. To save on charges, buy a local pay-as-you-go SIM card or an international card such as sim4travel. Public phones accept credit cards or a phone card bought from a post office. Hotel phones are usually expensive.
The international dialing code for Turkey is 90 Istanbul has two area codes: 0212 for the European side, 0216 for the Asian side.