Turkey straddles the borders of Europe and Asia with the majority of the country in Southwest Asia. It has a total area of 780,580 sq.km. that lies within Europe. The Aegean Sea, Greece and Bulgaria are to the west, and the Black Sea forms the northern border. With its wonderful climates, exotic cities, charming villages, golden beaches and unparalleled location. The charms of the nation have long been obvious to tourists. The Aegean and Turquoise coasts have all the ingredients of a perfect Mediterranean destination.
The climate in Turkey varies quite considerably, from the Black Sea region where luscious vegetation- covered mountain ranges run along the coastline, to the Mediterranean coast with its abundance of flowers, its towns and Amanos mountain ranges. The coastlines tend to be cooler but once across the mountains, the interior plains and plateaus enjoy extremely hot summers and mild to cold winters with moderate rainfall.
99% of the Turkish population is Muslim. However, everyone in Turkey has freedom of religion and beliefs. The other 1% is divided into Orthodox, Jewish, Catholic, Protestant and other Christian religions. No one can be forced to disclose his or her religion and no one can be discriminated against on the basis of his or her religion.
Ankara is the capital of Turkey with a population of 4 million, although Istanbul in the Mamara region is the most densely populated city at 10 million. The total population is 73 million, the currency is the New Turkish Lira and the local time is GMT + 2 hours. The major religion is Islam and the national language is Turkish, although English is fairly widely spoken throughout most regions
There are direct flights from many European airports, and further flights in the tourist season from many more smaller local airports, to Dalaman. One route among others is by ferry from Venice and Ancona in Italy, but it can also be done from several seaports in Greece. For your route planning we’d like to refer you to the various route guides.
• Most European health insurances also apply in Turkey and will be fully accepted. Most hospitals have very good interpreters and German and/or English is spoken in many doctor’s surgeries.
• Most common European medicines are available at the pharmacies, also without a prescription. If you need special medication which contains specific substances you can check for availability at the pharmacy. Every pharmacy should have a list of medicines which are available in Turkey. The pharmacist should be able to tell you where you can purchase particular medicines.
• Police: 155
• Alarm number: 112
• Enquiries: 118
• Fire: 110
• National Holiday : October 29
• Official Holidays : April 23, May 19, August 30
• Religious Holiday: Ramadan: 3 days, Sacrifice: 4 Days
• New Year: January 1
• You can visit the various sights by taxi, rental car, touring car or dolmus (public bus). You also have the option of leaving the organisation of your daytrips to one of the many travel agencies.
• There are bicycle routes and walking treks. For example, the Taurus Mountains have several routes and treks for one or more days which are clearly signposted. You can obtain information and route maps from the local tourist information office.
• Every place has sports facilities, private as well as public and these are open to everybody for a fee.
• You are allowed to sunbath topless, in spite of the fact that Turkey is an Islamic country. It definitely applies for the tourist beaches.
• You can, but you will have to be able to show that your pet has received the necessary vaccinations. You will also need a certificate issued by the Turkish consulate. Dogs and cats are allowed in the passenger cabin of the plane up to a specific weight. Ask for details at the airline company in question
• Turkish Baths are great fun and a visit to one of the ultimate Ottoman pleasures is a must for any holiday. To take full advantage of the the experience, make sure you go at the beginning of your stay so your skin leave it to the end of the holiday, your tan will be scrubbed away!
• A passport or identity card is sufficient. You do need to buy a visa on arrival. You have to be able to show this visa again when you leave Turkey. If you have a passport, the visa seal will be attached to your passport.
• You can stay for a maximum of three months in Turkey with a standard tourist visa
• If you have arrived in Turkey with a passport, you can extend the 3 month visa without problem at the place where you are staying by another three months. If you want to stay longer than six months in Turkey, or possibly start working there, you need to apply for a visa well before your departure in one of the Turkish consulates in your own country. The consulate can issue you a visa for a period of one year. With this visa you can apply for a one year permit of residence (Ikamet) at the local police office in Turkey. The Ikamet can then be extended for a period of three or five years.
• You are allowed to import a maximum value of US$15.000.
Registering for school
• At least a 6 months residence permit
• ID card/passport from own country
• Family details e.g. Father and Mother’s names, date and place of birth
• Must accept that the education is only in the Turkish language
• Information from previous schools regarding the educational standard achieved so far is essential. This will need to be translated to Turkish and approval as to which class the child goes into will come from the Education Ministry in Dalaman
• At least 2 passport sized photographs
• Remember that photocopies of all documents noted will be required
• You can open an account at every bank. You will have to give your address and provide proof of identity. It is recommended that you open your bank account in euro.
• These are accepted at every foreign exchange office.
• You are allowed to buy a car, but you can only put the car in your name if you have a so-called Ikamet permit.
• We recommend good travel insurance and cancellation insurance.
You can pay nearly everywhere by credit card. If you do decide to pay by credit card, price negotiation will often be impossible and sometimes you will have to pay an extra charge too.
• The new monetary unit of the Republic of Turkey will be the New Turkish Lira (YTL in domestic, TRY in international markets). The New Turkish Lira will be further subdivided into the New Kuruş. One New Turkish Lira will be equal to 100 New Kuruş.
• Turkish Lira (TRL) values will be converted into New Turkish Lira by removing six zeroes; thus one million Turkish Lira (1.000.000 TRL) will be equal to one New Turkish Lira (1 TRY).
• Any reference made to Turkish Lira at legislative and administrative transactions, court decisions, legal transactions, negotiable instruments, documents that would produce legal effects and documents related to payment and exchange instruments will be considered to have been made to New Turkish Lira at the conversion rate specified above.
• Both new and old liras will be legal tender during 2005. At the end of 2005, the banknotes of Turkish Lira will be withdrawn from the market and the New Turkish Lira will be the only legal form of tender.
Please check http://www.ytl.gen.tr/ytl/index_eng.php for detailed information about the New TL and the banknotes.
A,a short, as in `ant`. E,e short as in `bell`. İ,i as `ee` in `bee`. I,ı `uh` like the `e` in `open`. Ö,ö as German `ö`, or `fur`. U,u short as `oo` in `moon`. Ü,ü same as German `ü`, or `pew`. C,c is a `j`, as jam. Ç,ç `ch` is in `chin`.G,g always hard, as in `get`. Ğ,ğ: not pronounced, lengthens preceding vowel, ignore it! H,h always pronounced, as in `hat`. J,j as in French `j`, or `rouge`. S,s always `ss`, never `z`. Ş,ş `sh` as in `ship`. X,x not used, Turks use `ks` instead.
Good morning: Günaydın
Good evening: İyi akşamlar
How are you?: Nasılsınız?
Very well: Çok iyiyim
Thank you: Teşekkür ederim
Excuse me: Pardon
What time is it?: Saat kaç?
Your eyes are beautiful : Gözlerin çok güzel
You dance so well: Mükemmel dans ediyorsun
I love you: Seni seviyorum
Good night: İyi geceler
Pleased to meet you: Memnun oldum
No thanks : Sağolun
Let`s go and swim: Yüzelim mi?
What`s your name? Adınız ne?
Where are you from? Nerelisiniz?
Are you married? Evli misiniz?
What kind of music do you like? Ne tür müzik seversiniz
Why Turkish food is world class
When the best cuisines in the world are judged it comes as a surprise to most people that Turkish cuisine has been rated as one of the three great cuisines of the world, along with French and Chinese.
However, if you take a look back in time, the explanation for the extraordinary Turkish food is more understandable.
It was during the 500 years of Ottoman rule that Turkish culinary skills were developed.
Access to fresh ingredients was easy and infinite varieties of fish, poultry, fruit and vegetables and a countless number of spices were used.
At the same time many people from different cultures settled in the country and this brought further inspiration to the cooking.
Among other things found by archeologists was a board from ancient times and the various signs and symbols thereon have been deciphered to reveal a kind of cook book with a list of familiar ingredients and spices.
All this is ours to enjoy today! Turkish specialties are numerous and certainly worth a try.
When it comes to national dishes, Turkey has its own traditions and customs. Below you will see just a few ideas.
Turkish pizza: Most places in Alanya serve pizza as we know it. The Turkish pizza is a little different but tries it anyway.
The size can vary from tiny to larger than a plate. The toppings are usually beef, onion, parsley and tomato purée, which are mixed together and put on top of bread dough. It will be served with a piece of lemon to be squeezed over the pizza. Of course there are many other varieties of toppings.
The Turkish pizza has more oil than the pizza we know.
Osmanish pan: A very special dish which gets its name from the Ottoman period in Turkish history.
You can get the osmanish pan with lamb, beef or chicken. It is a stew with different vegetables and spices. The dish is made differently depending on the area and time of the year.
Dessert: When it comes to desserts, the Turkish people love anything which is sweet - especially pastries, which are often soaked in honey. Vanilla and chocolate mousse are also favourites! Plain fresh fruit such as melons, berries and grapes are also seen on the dessert table.
Soup: The Turkish people love soup, and they will eat it even in the middle of the night. In Alanya there is a street which is called “soup-street” which runs from the Atatürk statue on the main street to the 25metre street.
You may notice that these soup restaurants are open almost all night. The locals like to eat soup in the middle of the night on the way home from town.
Soup made with sheep`s brains or sheep`s eyes are quite normal but if this doesn’t tempt you go for a tasty tomato or chicken variety.
Bread: Turkish white bread is not expensive and you can buy it at all the small grocers.
Remember that the bread becomes dry easily so eat it up quickly.
You should also try a simit which is like a bagel with sesame seeds. You can buy them on the street from small carts and they too are inexpensive.
Mezes - The Turkish appetizer
The Turkish appetizers are known as meze which is a selection of cold and hot dishes served in small dishes.
It is similar to Spanish tapa dishes but the taste is very different.
Traditionally the chosen dishes are placed in the centre of the table and everyone helps themselves from the selection. This is a very sociable and friendly environment in which to entertain friends, family or guests.
The tasty dishes can be numerous and the flavours experienced only limited by the creator’s imagination.
For example: Give these a try!
Lavas: Large and airy `balloon` bread spread with sesame seeds. You eat it with meze dishes.
Dolma: Vine leaves, peppers, tomatoes or potatoes stuffed with rice, meat, pured tomatoes and spices.
Börek: Fried puff pastry with white cheese and spinach. Also called ladyfingers or cigarette rolls.
Aubergine: Aubergine/ eggplant stuffed with tomato, meat, onion and spices.
Feta: Soft white cheese eaten with lavas.
Shepherd`s salad: Salad, tomato, cucumber, onion, vinegar and maybe chili.
Haydari: A lot like the Greek tzatziki. In Turkey the cucumber is replaced with chive.
Ezme: Red spicy dish made from chilli, tomato and chives. Served as an accompaniment to kebab or lavas.
More kinds of kebab
The kebab that you may be familiar with is probably not the same as the traditional kebabs found in Turkey. You may know of two or maybe even three kinds of kebab. You definitely will not have had the choices that you will get here in the kebab`s homeland.
Turkish people love kebabs and they eat them as a snack or a main meal.
Kebab is marinated meat. Here is a list of the most common varieties:
Dönerkebab: Grilled pieces of beef, lamb or chicken which are placed on a half dürüm/pancake bread together with salad, onions and spices. Very good, cheap takeaway.
Iskenderkebab: Same ingredients as the dönerkebab. Served on a plate with yoghurt and salad.
Adanakebab: Comes from the large Turkish city of the same name. Spicy minced beef on a swordlike skewer grilled.
Siskebab: Large pieces of beef, lamb, or chicken on a skewer grilled with pieces of red pepper.
Auberginekebab: Meat and aubergine/egg plant on a skewer grilled.
The Turkish tradition of wine production is very new due to the fact that wine was not drunk in the Ottoman Empire. It was therefore only after the fall of the empire in 1919 that Turkey started to produce wine.
Today Turkey is one of the world’s largest grape producers. However most of the grapes are used as raisins . Western, northern and central Turkey are the main grape producing areas.
One of the largest wine brands in Turkey is Doluca, which is produced chiefly in central Turkey. Doluca is available as a red, white or rosé wine. Try Doluca Antik which is rather good. Another large wine producer, also in the central part of the country, is Kalvaklidere. Just like Doluca, Kalvaklidere is found in many varieties and tastes good.
Be warned, foreign and imported wines are often a lot more expensive than local Turkish wines.
Many other beverages are enjoyed in Turkey. We have noted below some of the beverages that are a bit different from those generally known.
Apple tea: Popular sweet tea. Enjoyed hot or cold.
Black tea: Resembles earl grey, but is much stronger and a little bitter. Usually served in small tulip shaped glasses.
Mint tea: Wonderful green tea that is not so common.
Kahve: Turkish coffee. Served in a small cup and drunk plain, medium sweet or very sweet.
Teahouses are very popular in Turkey where men sit around discussing sports, politics and the ways of the world. Women are normally not to be seen in teahouses.
Efes: The only large Turkish owned beer brand, Efes’ headquarters are located in Izmir and the brewery has a large export market to the east as well as Russia. It also owns the largest basketball team, which bears its name, in Turkey.
Raki: An alcoholic drink, flavoured with aniseed, that is best compared to Ouzo or Pernod. Raki is clear but turns milky white when it is mixed with water. It has the nickname lion`s milk.
According to the Turks, Raki is the best medicine for preventing illness and so is drunk on a large scale – in spite of the fact that the Koran indirectly forbids the consumption of alcohol. This is a question of interpretation and many people avoid the drinking of Raki only the day before the holy day, Friday.
Ayran: Yogurt, diluted with water, that contains extra salt. Tourists often drink ayran for a bad stomach or to maintain fluid and salt levels.
Salgam: Beetroot syrup that is often drunk together with Raki. Salgam is said to remove the affects of alcohol.