Tips for travellers

TIPS FOR TRAVELLERS

CLIMATE AND CLOTHING

VISAS
Citizens of New Zealand, Japan, South Africa and most of the countries of Western Europe, need only a valid passport for stays of up to 3 months. Australian, UK and US citizens, as well as those from Austria, Canada, Israel, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain - do need visas, obtainable in advance at a Turkish consulate, or upon entry to Turkey.
WHEN TO COME

Marmara, Aegean, and Mediterranean coasts: These coasts have a typical Mediterranean climate with hot summers and wild winters. The swimming season becomes shorter the further north one goes: Marmara and North Aegean - June to September, South Aegean and Mediterranean - April to October. Black Sea Coast: warm summers, mild winters, and relatively high rainfall.
Central Anatolia: Steppe climate with hot, dry summers and cold winters.
Eastern Anatolia: Long snowy, cold winters with mild summers.
Southeast Anatolia: Hot summer with mild, rainy winters.

WHAT TO WEAR

Marmara, Aegean, and Mediterranean coasts: Light, cotton summer clothing and cardigans for evening.
Black Sea Coast, Central and Eastern Anatolia: Summer wear, warmer clothing should be taken for cool evenings at high altitudes. Comfortable shoes are necessary for visiting archaeological and historical sites.

Visiting a mosque: Five times a day, the "müezzin" calls the faithful to prayer in the mosque. Before entering a mosque, Muslims wash themselves and remove their shoes. Foreign visitors should also remove their shoes and show the respect they would any other house of worship and avoid visiting the mosque during prayer time. Women should cover their heads and arms, and not wear miniskirts. Men should not wear shorts. (In certain famous mosques, overalls are provided for those not suitably dressed.)

WORKING HOURS

Government offices:   8:30 am - 12:30 pm; 1:30 pm-5:30 pm (Closed Saturday and Sundays, open daily in tourist areas)
Banks:   8:30 am - 12:00 pm; 1:30 pm-5:00 pm (Closed Saturday and Sundays, open daily in tourist areas)
Shops:   9:30 am - 7:00 pm (In tourist areas, closing times vary, some close around midnight)
Covered Bazaar- Istanbul:   8:am - 7:pm (Closed Sundays)
Summer hours:   In the Aegean and the Mediterranean regions of Turkey, government offices and many other establishments are closed in the afternoon during the summer months. These summer hours are fixed each year by the provincial governors.

OFFICIAL HOLIDAYS

New Year s Day January 1
Sacrifice Festival January 9 (1/2 day) to 13 2007
National Sovereignty and Childrens' Day April 23
Atatürk Commemoration & Youths and Sports Festival May 19
Victory Day August 30
Republic Day October 28 (½ day) to October 29
Feast of Ramazan 22-25 October 2006

IMPORTANT SERVICE TELEPHONE NUMBERS

Traffic Police: 154
Police: 155
Gendarmerie: 156
Fire: 110
Emergency: 112
International Operator: 118
Municipal Police: 153

POSTAL SYSTEMS AND TELEPHONE CALLS

Turkish post and telephone offices are easily recognisable by their "PTT" and "Turk Telekom" signs. Major post offices are open from 8:00am to 12 am Monday to Saturday and 9:00am to 7:00 pm on Sunday. Small post offices have the same opening hours as Government offices (see below).

Poste restante
Poste restante letters should be addressed "postrestant" to the central post office ("Merkez Postanesi") in the town of your choice. It is only necessary to produce and identification card when collecting your letter. This service is for sending and receiving documents from other countries.

Fax Office
Fax service is available for sending and receiving documents from other countries.

Valuable Dispatch
This service is for sending valuable belongings or important documents.

Other PTT services
It is possible to exchange money at some PTT branches at the current international exchange rate. International post orders and travellers cheques can also be exchanged. An express postal service (Acele Posta Servisi -APS) operates from Turkey to 72 other countries for letters, documents and small packages. Stamp collectors will be delighted with the wide range of special stamps available from the philatelic section. International subscriptions are also available.

Phone calls
The most economic way to telephone in Turkey is from a PTT telephone booth (Found in all towns). Telephone cards are available.

MISCELLENIOUS FACTS

Local Time: GMT+2hours (Summer).
Electricity: 220 volts AC all over Turkey (A European adaptor will be suitable).
Tap water: Safe to drink in all cities since it has been chlorinated.
Weights and measurements: Metric System
Foreign Newspapers: Available in large cities and tourist areas.
Interpreters-guides: Ministry of Tourism Offices and travel agents can provide professional interpreters/guides. Travel agents are obliged to provide a professional interpreter/guide on all of their tours.