Turkey is a country of diversity, stunning scenery, warm hospitality, as well as a whole range of resorts & activities to suit all tastes. A country spanning two continents where east meets west & 10,000 years of civilisation, Turkey is a treasure trove of history & culture.
Weather in Turkey – Southern Mediterranean & Aegean Coasts
Turkey’s Mediterranean & Aegean coasts boast an ideal Mediterranean climate with low humidity. The long, extended summer runs between May & October with temperatures ranging from the low 20°Cs at the beginning & finish of the season, up to the mid 30°Cs in the hottest months of July & August.
In the coursework of spring, the scent of citrus blossoms fills the air, the hills & valleys are green with vegetation & the cold, sunny days are ideal for hiking & sightseeing. In the coursework of the autumn months it is a pleasure to visit historical & natural sites in the cold weather or to buy up bargains at end-of-season sales! Winters tend to be mild with some sun, & occasional showers, & it is not unusual to be able to swim in the sea even in November.
The mix of cultural influences & traditions in Turkey is one of the things that draw tourists to the country. Turkey has a rich cultural heritage with a long history of influences from both Europe & Asia, which is reflected in the complexity & variety of sure Turkish arts, language & handicrafts. Turks are proud of their centuries-old musical custom, which is similar to the music of nearby Islamic regions such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, & northern India. A cosmopolitan nation, Turkey has also adopted & developed ideas & traditions that merge Western, Asian, & Arabic elements.
Turkish relatives units are important. Kids often stay with their families until they get married & then continue to be the main focus of their families’ lives. Grandparents are often available to look after the kids allowing the parents to go out to work. There is a great respect for elders in Turkish Culture & you can often see the more youthful generation kissing an elder’s hand & then touching the brow as a sign of respect.
Equal rights for ladies were officially added to the civil code in 2002, so ladies now have equal say in relation to relatives matters & property & assets are divided equally in the event of a divorce. Ladies no longer need their husbands consent to get jobs & they are also entitled to continue using their maiden name in the event that they wish one time they are married.
The Evil Eye
The ‘evil eye’ is an ancient belief & is one of the most widespread superstitions in Turkey. It is believed that the ‘evil eye’ is created by feelings of extreme envy towards a person or object & that it can cast a spell on the object of it’s gaze bringing bad fortune. The ‘nazar boncuk’ or ‘evil eye bead’ is actually a benevolent eye used to ward off harm & sinful. It can be seen providing protection in all places – in homes & buildings, in the automobile, & they are even worn by children & young kids.
The Hamam, or Turkish Bath, was a Roman & Byzantine custom which was adopted by the Selcuk Turks in the 11th century & has been part of the Turkish Culture as well as a lifestyle ever since. It claimed an important role in society as not only was it a place where the faithful could follow the Muslim principle of cleanliness, it was as well as a place in which to socialize, gossip & even talk business or politics. The exfoliation, bathing & massage method provide both a soothing & exhilarating experience. Today Hamams can be present in most Turkish towns & cities & are they are popular with both locals & tourists similar.
Relatives Holidays in Turkey
Turks love kids & always extend a warm welcome to our young holidaymakers. There’s lots of activities in Turkey which will keep kids happy, the most popular being spending time on the gently shelving beaches which are ideal for families. For the more active, walking, horse riding, walking & watersports are available.
Did you know?
Turkey is home to two of the Three Wonders of the World, the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, & the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (present day Bodrum)
St Nicholas, popularly known as Santa Claus, was born & lived in Turkey
Noah’s Ark is said to have landed at Mount Ararat in Eastern Turkey
Turkey provides 70% of the world’s hazelnuts
Gave the English language plenty of words including chock-a block, turquoise, yoghurt, kismet, kilim & parchment
Turkey first introduced tulips to Holland & today still supplies tulips worldwide. The tulip is also Turkey’s national flower
Turkey was the first ever land to mind & use coins 2700 years ago by the Lydians
Turkey has the world’s first female Supreme Court Judge, & gave the ladies the right to vote in 1934
Whilst the population of Turkey is about 99% Muslim, the country is a secular state which allows complete freedom of worship to non-muslims. Tourists visiting coastal resorts are unlikely to see much proof that they are in a Muslim country, except for the call to prayer which can be heard 5 times per day. If visiting a mosque, dress conservatively & avoid visiting in the coursework of prayer times or on Fridays, the holy day. On the coast, dress is usually relaxed beachwear for locals & tourists similar. It is only in smaller villages, more remote areas & the east of the country that the dress codes are more formal & more traditional.
In the coursework of Ramadan, or Ramazan, as it is known in Turkey, some locals may speedy from dawn to sundown. This is relaxed in the resort areas & ought to not have any affect at all to visitors.
Public Holidays in Turkey
Government offices & banks will be closed on public holidays, but life in the resort areas continues much as usual. Funds exchange bureaux & most shops & restaurants open as normal.
History of Turkey
Historicallyin the past known as Asia Minor or Anatolia, this huge region reflects a outstanding & engaging history with settled habitation dating back to the eighth millennium BC. Anatolia has seen virtually every major western civilisation come & go including the Assyrians, Hittities, Phrygians, Urartian, Greeks & Romans. Treasured artefacts, including what is believed to be the first landscape picture ever painted were left behind & are displayed at Ank
ara’s Museum of Anatolian Civilisations. Plenty of of the museums’ artefacts are the only clues they must the earliest civilisations.
A number of the finest sites emerged from the Hellenistic period such as the remains of ancient Troy & the ruined settlements of Lycia. The most impressive of all of them is ancient Ephesus. It is believed that the Virgin Mary spent her last days in a small house on the fringe of Ephesus whilst St John the Evangelist came to look after her. Now a place of Pilgrimage for Roman Catholics, the house has received the official sanction of the Vatican.
In 560 BC the King of Persia, Cyrus, conquered everybody & everything & soon subjected the Aegean cities to his rule. However, 200 years later they were defeated by Alexander the Great. They led the Macedonians eastward across Anatolia as far as India in pursuit of gaining the domination of Asia. Sure , they quickly conquered the whole Middle East, from Greece to India.
Following its conquest by Rome in the 2nd century BC, Asia Minor enjoyed centuries of peace. In the coursework of the Middle Ages as part of the Byzantine Empire it became a centre of Christianity.
The Great Seljuk Empire, based in Persia, was the first actual Turkish state in Anatolia. This empire had a unique culture with stunning architecture & design. The Seljuks Empire quickly declined with Anatolia fragmented in to a considerable number of small emirates. The Turks gradually moved in on these states one after the other which finally grew to be the largest empire in recent history, the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans ruled for over five centuries until 1922. The following year, Asia Minor became the larger part of the Turkish Republic led by Ataturk.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was the main drive behind the development of modern Turkey. The former army officer became Turkey’s first President & steered the country from the wreckage of the Ottoman Empire. Ataturk introduced dramatic reforms that touched on every aspect of Turkish life. There were plenty of significant changes including replacing the Arabic script with Latin characters. Primary schooling was made compulsory & religious law was abolished. Ladies were granted equal rights in matters of custody & inheritance & by 1934 women’s rights had extended to Universal Suffrage.
Ataturk was & still is a national hero- a huge presence in the long history of Turkey. In every town & village you will find reminders of the leader in all places you turn. As time goes by Ataturk becomes even more of a hero as the country’s people recognize his odd influence in making Turkey what it is today.
Turkish Food & Drink
Turkish food is amongst the best in the world. With climatic zones to grow most ingredients locally, there is a huge array of produce to excite & entice the palate.
Besides its famous kebab dishes, there’s lots of other traditional Turkish foods to pick from. Meze (appetisers) for which Turkey is justly famous, are a range of hundreds of small dishes from simple combinations such as cheese with melon to elaborately stuffed vegetables. These are served in all Turkish restaurants & are historicallyin the past accompanied with Raki, a clear anise- flavoured spirit claimed to be Turkey’s national alcoholic drink.
Turkey’s most popular beers are the home produced Efes Pilsen & Tuborg, & whilst the wine industry has yet to realise it’s full potential, Kavaklidere & Doluca, the best known brands, produce a choice of both red & white wines.
Shopping in Turkey offers the most unusual & variety of gifts tempting even the non-shoppers amongst us.
Traditional handicrafts such as carpets, kilims, copper goods, painted ceramics & jewellery are popular buys, along with a lovely choice of leather goods, sandals & beachwear which can be present in most of the larger resorts.
In tourist & coastal areas, opening hours are flexible & in the coursework of the summer plenty of shops stay open until late in the evening, three days a week, leaving tourists to browse in their own time & escape the heat of the day.
In memento shops & stalls, it’s always worth trying a spot of haggling. For food shopping, local minimarkets provide basic necessities, whilst the supermarkets found near the larger resorts are similar to those they are used to at home. Most resorts have a every week market selling local produce, crafts & textiles & are well worth a visit.
Hiring a automobile is one of the best ways to get out & about, giving you the freedom to explore when you have time.
Local transport within the towns & resorts consists of dolmus or minibuses (taxis) that run from one point to another & you can hop on & off anywhere along the route & pay according to the distance travelled.
Things to do in Turkey
Turkey offers a wide selection of activities for couples & families similar.
Watersports including windsurfing, parasailing, jet skiing & canoeing are popular on designated beaches in or near plenty of of the larger resorts. Scuba diving is also widely available, & the calm, clear waters are ideal for beginners & novice divers. Walking & trekking are becoming increasingly popular & they offer one of the best ways to explore the countryside.
Funds in Turkey
New Turkish Lira (YTL) is the official funds in Turkey. “Y” stands for “Yeni” (“New”) in Turkish as the new notes & coins replaced the elderly funds which was withdrawn from circulation in January 2006. It can be bought from your bank in advance, in which case they would advise you to order at least two weeks before your departure date. Alternatively you can change funds, or travellers cheques one time you have arrived in Turkey. It’s simple to change up all major currencies in exchange offices, post offices & hotels. Exchange offices are also located in the arrivals halls at most Turkish aiports.
Funds can be also obtained from ATM/cash machines throughout Turkey, providing the symbols on the machine match those on your debit/cash card. Your bank ought to be able to give you further information on using your card abroad. In the event you do find yourself short of Turkish Lira at any point, plenty of shops & restaurants in the coastal resorts & bigger cities will accept payment in foreign funds. But in the event you are planning to travel to other parts of the country, it is advisable to carryover some Turkish Lira.
The New Turkish Lira comes in notes of 5,10, 20, 50 & 100. The coins, called New Kurus (Ykr), come in 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 & one New Turkish Lira. One hundred New Kurus equals one New Turkish Lira.
note that Scottish funds is not accepted in Turkey. It is also worth noting that they may not accept any foreign bank notes for exhange which are ripped or have been scribbled on.
Passports & Visas
British citizens need a standard ten year passport which must be valid for at least five months after the date of arrival back in the United Kingdom. Kids under 16 years need their own passport if not already on a parents passport before October 1998.
British citizens (including kids) must pay a tourist visa of £10 on arrival. This must be paid in note form in funds. Scottish funds is not accepted in Turkey.
Full details & application forms for a full British passport can be obtained from main post offices or direct from the Passport Office.Non UK passport holders are recommended to contact the appropriate Embassy in London as to their visa fee.
Turkey Time Difference
Turkey is two hours ahead of the United Kingdom. It is a lovely suggestion to adjust your watch as soon as you arrive, as any airline timetables are expressed in local time.
Vaccinations for Turkey
No vaccination certificates are compulsory for entry to Turkey. You ought to always check together with your doctor, in lovely time prior to departure, if there’s any inoculations the Department of Health think about necessary or advisable for any specific areas.
When To Go
The main season for visitors to Turkey’s western Aegean & Mediterranean coastal resorts is between May to October, when the weather is settled & the days are long & sunny.
Temperatures range from the mid 20°Cs early & late season, to the mid 30°Cs in the coursework of the peak season of July & August which is also the most popular time to visit when all the activities are in full swing. The sea temperatures are warm & ideal for swimming throughout the summer, & it is not unusual to be able to swim in the sea even in November.
In the coastal resorts they can select of properties suitable for occupation in late autumn, winter & early spring where you can discover the changing seasons. contact us for further information. There may be an additional charge for heating. The Turkish resorts do quieten down in winter & plenty of facilities available in the coursework of the summer months may not be available in the coursework of winter.
Often Asked Questions
Will I be able to make use of my mobile phone?
Usually speaking, mobile phone coverage in Turkey is excellent – the exception being a quantity of the more remote and/or mountainous areas. It is important to keep in mind that when using a British mobile phone, in Turkey, to contact our abroad offices & staff, although you are linking up to the local network your call must be prefixed by 00 90 & you ought to then drop the first 0 of the Turkish phone number.
What funds will I need?
New Turkish Lira (YTL) is the official funds in Turkey. Funds can be bought in the United Kingdom but they advise you to order at least four weeks before your departure date to keep away from any last minute rush. Four times in Turkey, it’s simple to change up all major currencies in exchange offices, post offices (PTTs) & hotels. Funds can be also obtained from ATM/cash machines throughout Turkey, providing the symbols on the machine match those on your debit/cash card. Your bank ought to be able to give you further information on using your card abroad. In the event you do find yourself short of Turkish Lira at any point, foreign funds, including pounds sterling, is readily accepted in plenty of shops, hotels & restaurants in the tourist areas.
Travellers Cheques or Credit Cards?
Credit cards are now widely accepted in shops & some restaurants by & massive towns & resorts. Though you ought to always check beforehand in the event you intend to have a meal & pay afterwards using the card. Plenty of small, relatives run restaurants or establishments may not accept cards. The smaller villages & places ‘off the beaten track’ may also not accept credit cards so have some funds handy.
Funds can be obtained from ATM/cash machines throughout Turkey, providing the symbols on the machine match those on your debit/cash card. Your bank ought to be able to give you further information on using your card abroad. Travellers Cheques can be cashed at banks, exchange bureaux & most of the larger hotels.
What is the voltage & do they must make use of adaptors?
The current is 220 V. Wall sockets take four rounded pin plugs, like plenty of European countries. You will need an adapter plug to make use of UK appliances.
Is there a time difference?
Yes, Turkey is on GMT + 2 (daylight saving GMT +3 operates between late March to late September). This means that for most of the year, Turkey is four hours ahead of the United Kingdom. It is a nice suggestion to adjust your watch as soon as you arrive in Turkey.
What ought to I take?
You can now find most western goods, including holiday necessities such as suntan & aftersun lotions, insect & mosquito repellents, & such like in most of the larger resorts & supermarkets. Taking these things with you saves time & also ensures that you can find your preferred brands. It’s worth taking a high protection sunscreen, in the coursework of high season when temperatures can soar, a wide-brimmed sun hat, & a mosquito repellent both for your room & a spray for yourself when you are outside in the evenings. Also do take a European-type 2 pin adaptor for your electrical equipment – these can be difficult to find in Turkey. A photocopy of your passport is useful to keep on you as a method of ID, & in the event you are driving, a replica of your license as well to keep in the automobile.
Are shops open on the day of our arrival?
In the coursework of the summer season, & in the resort areas, supermarkets, minimarkets & plenty of shops are open every day, often till early evening.
As a general guideline opening days & times are as follows:
Banks: 09.00 – 12.00 & 13.30 – 17.00 Monday to Friday.
Post Offices: (identified by yellow PTT signs) 08.00 – 20.00 Monday to Saturday, & 09.00 – 19.00 on Sundays.
Museums – 09.00 – 17.00 Tuesday to Sunday.
Chemists (eczane) – 09.00-19.00 Monday to Saturday. An obligation chemist is appointed on a rota basis to stay open for 24 hours, details of which are posted in any chemist’s front window.
Shops: in the resorts, & in the coursework of the summer months, bazaars & plenty of tourist shops open every day from around 09.00 till late in the evening, often till 22.00. More regular type shops may close earlier in the evening, & on Sundays.
Supermarkets: Most supermarkets are open every day, & the larger ones are often open till 22.00 in the coursework of the summer, a few open 24 hours.
Cafés & restaurants tend to operate open-ended hours & may not close till early in the morning.
Are there insects?
There can be mosquito’s in definite areas so a plug in deterrent is an idea. Ants are frequent in some rural areas.
What is driving like in Turkey?
As in the remainder of the Mediterranean, other road users may appear to the United Kingdom driver to drive unpredictably. The roads are usually well kept though some coastal or mountain roads can be narrow & winding. You ought to be aware of the following points:
Traffic drives on the right in Turkey, which means you must give way to the right at junctions & roundabouts (vehicles joining the roundabout have right of way).
The wearing of stool belts is compulsory.
There’s strict drink driving laws – the rule is absolutely no alcohol in the event you intend to drive. Random tests are common & police will issue on the spot fines.
If another vehicle flashes it’s lights, this means that it is coming through, not that they are giving way to you.
You ought to drive defensively at all times, & great care ought to be taken when driving after dark as you may come across inadequately lit vehicles, slow moving lorries or animals wandering across the road.