Turkey is located in southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia (that portion of Turkey west of the Bosporus is geographically part of Europe), bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Georgia, and bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria
The official language, Turkish, is the first language spoken by 90% of the 63m population. Minority languages include Kurdish, spoken by 6% of the population. Arabic is spoken by 1.2% of the Turkish population; most of those speakers are bilingual Arabic and Turkish speakers. Other minority languages include Circassian, spoken by more than 0.09% throughout the country, Greek, Armenian and Judezmo, a Romance language spoken by Jews.
Currency – the currency of Turkey is known as the Lira.
Dialing Code – the international dialing code is +90
Turkey is a historical rich country that is bounded by 4 seas on 3 sides, occupies a relatively large region in Asia and Europe. Four regions were named after the seas bordering them – the Aegean Region, the Mediterranean Region, the Black Sea Region and the Marmara Region.
The other three regions were named in accordance with their location in the whole of Anatolia – Central, Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia Regions. The Mediterranean coastline is the most popular touristic attraction. İt has unique landscapes, Blue Flag beaches and great history all around. More than 20 million tourists visit this beautiful and interesting country every year.
In Turkey there are many interesting places of interest and many activities. You can enjoy the sandy beaches and the clear seas, visit interesting landscapes, have a look on the historical Ottoman mosques and travel back in time in the world of ancient civilizations.
Turkey is a land of myth, various civilizations, the country that was influenced of varied streams of culture. Owing to its favorable position, Turkey happens to be the bridge between two most important continents on the world: the East and the West (Europe and Asia) and the point where the three continents of the old world (Europe, Asia and Africa) meet.
This is a place where every visitor can find something for himself. The world-class cuisine, warm hospitality of Turkish people, entertaining facilities, architectural magnificence of the mosques and castles and natural beauty make Turkey an unconquerable touristic attraction.
So if you going to take a splendid holiday – visit Turkey. This Mediterranean country has an ancient charm nestled in a gorgeous natural surrounding, which unites the extremely courteous and warm welcome from the locals.
Turks began their migration into the area what now is called Turkey in the 11th century. The process was greatly accelerated by the Seljuk victory over the Byzantine Empire at the The Battle of Manzikert. The Seljuk Sultanate ruled Anatolia until the Mongol Empire’s invasion.
Starting from the 13th century, the Ottoman Empire united Anatolia and created an empire encompassing much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia and North Africa.
After the Ottoman Empire had collapsed following its defeat in World War I, parts of it were occupied by the victorious Allies. A cadre of young military officers, led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk,organized a successful resistance to the Allies and in 1923 they established the modern Republic of Turkeywith Atatürk as its first president.
Turkey is a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic, with an ancient cultural heritage. Turkey has become increasingly integrated with the West through membership in organizations such as the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE and the G-20 major economies.
Turkey began full membership negotiations with the European Union in 2005, having been an associate member of the European Economic Community since 1963 and having reached a customs union agreement in 1995.
Turkey has also fostered close cultural, political, economic and industrial relations with the Middle East, the Turkic states of Central Asia and the African countries through membership in organizations such as the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and the Economic Cooperation Organization.
Given its strategic location, large as well as powerful economy and army, Turkey is classified as a major regional power.
The climate is mild in the coastal regions owing to the sea influence. The central regions are sealed from the sea by the Northern Anatolian Mountains and the Taurus Mountain Range and display characteristics of a continental climate.
The Mediterranean and Aegean coastal regions up to an altitude of 800 m inland refer to the Mediterranean climate. In this climate summers are hot and droughty, while winters are mild and rainy. Annual rainfall is about 1000 mm in some regions but meaningfully less in others. Snowfall and frost are rare, except for high mountain regions.
Turkey has a rich variety of food that makes it worthwhile just to take a culinary tour. You cannot identify one prevailing Turkish food like pasta in İtaly or wine in France, but the Turks have perfected their cuisine to the excellence that reflects the preciosity of culture.
Turkey has a long repertory of ancient recipes that were perfected by the chefcooks eager to please the Sultans. Turkish food is simple in presentation, its natural flavor is not mixed with different sauces; since the Ottomans made laws to regulate freshness of food, leftovers are rarely found in Turkish homes.
It is said that travelers in Turkey”come for the history but stay for the food”. Make sure you take home a turkish food like Turkish Delight as a souvenir from Turkey.
The following items may be brought into the country duty free:
Gifts and souvenirs: for a new carpet, a proof of purchase.
Exporting antiques from Turkey is forbidden.
Valuable personal items can only be taken out of the country providing they have been registered in the owner’s passport upon entry, or providing they can show they have been purchased with legally exchanged currency.
Minerals may only be exported from the country with a special document obtained from the MTA (General Directorate of Mining Exploration and Research). Etüdler Dairesi 06520, Ankara. Tel: (312) 2873430/1622, Fax: (312) 2854271
You Can Receive a Tax Refund for the Goods You Purchased In Turkey!
Refunds will be made to travelers who do not reside in Turkey.
All goods (including food and drinks) are included in the refunds with the exclusion of services rendered.
Retailers that qualify for tax refunds must be “authorized for refund.” These retailers must display a permit received from their respective tax office.
The retailer will make four copies of the receipt for your refund, three of which will be received by the purchaser. If photocopies of the receipt are received the retailer must sign and stamp the copies to validate them. If you prefer the refund to be made by check, a Tax-free Shopping Check for the amount to be refunded to the customer must be given along with the receipt.
For the purchaser to benefit from this exemption he must leave the country within three months with the goods purchased showing them to Turkish customs officials along with the appropriate receipts and/or check.
For those who wish to bring domestic animals into the country the following are required:
Note: If you have an official certificate, you may bring one cat, one bird, one dog and 10 aquarium fish into the country.
Those who wish to enter the country with their vans, minibuses, automobiles, station wagons, bicycles, motorcycles, motorbikes, sidecars, buses, motor coaches, trailers, caravans or other transport vehicles, will have to provide the following documentations:
Period: The vehicle can be brought into Turkey for up to 6 Months. The owner should declare on the opposite form, the date of departure at the border gate declared. If for any important reason the staying period has to be ended, it is necessary to apply to:
▪ The Turkish Touring and Automobile Club (Türkiye Turing ve Otomobil Kurumu) 1. Sanayi Sitesi Yani, 4.Levent, Istanbul, Tel: (212) 2828140, or to The General Directorate of Customs (Gümrükler Genel Müdürlügü), Ulus Ankara Tel: (312) 3103880, 3103818, Fax: (312) 3111346, before the end of the period declared.
In Case of Accident: The accident should be reported to the police. That report has to be certified by the nearest local authority. The owner should apply to the customs authority with his passport and report.
If the vehicle can be repaired, it is necessary to inform the customs authority first and take the vehicle to a garage. If the vehicle is not repairable and if the owner wishes to leave the country without his vehicle, he has to deliver it to the nearest customs office, and the registration of his vehicle on his passport will be cancelled.
Government Offices timings in Turkey:
▪ Monday-Friday (8:30-12:30), (13:30-17:30).
▪ Saturday-Sunday (closed)
Bank timings in Turkey:
▪ Monday-Friday (8:30-12-00), (13:30-17:00)
▪ Saturday-Sunday (closed)
Some important service numbers in Turkey are: