Information About Turkey

Turkey is situated geographically and culturally between East and West, Europe and Asia. A land of rich history and diverse natural beauty, Turkey is a modern country with a famously friendly and hospitable people. Bulgaria and Greece lie to the west, Georgia, Armenia and Iran to the East, and Iraq and Syria to the Southeast.

History

Turkey has a fabulously rich and varied history, starting with some of the oldest known civilisations in the world, and taking in a great many empires, wars, and significant historical events. This information provides a starting point.

Language

The Turkish language may seem a difficult one for an English speaker to learn. Certainly it’s grammar and pronunciation can be tricky. However, it has a pleasing logic to it and some basics can be picked up without too much difficulty. This website is a good resource to get you started.

Currency

The currency in Turkey is TL - Turkish Lira.
The approximate exchange rate is £1 = TL 3.5 (Apr 2014).
Obviously this fluctuates. For an up to date conversion click here.

Visas

You will need a Visa to travel to Turkey. As of April 2014 this system has changed so that, instead of buying the visa at the airport when you land, you must obtain it in advance from the following website: www.evisa.gov.tr

This is a pretty straightforward process where you fill in a simple form with your name and passport details (must be valid for at least six months from date of travel), pay the $20 fee online via credit card, and then the visa download link will be emailed to you.
The website suggests that you allow at least 48 hours before travel for applying.

Time

Time in Turkey is GMT + 2 hours.

Electricity

Continental European style, 2 pin, 220 volts AC. A normal European adapter will work fine.

Weather

Turkey is a large country with large variations in regional weather patterns. For up-to-date forecasts click here.

Islam and Society

Turkey is the only Islamic country with a secular constitution and state. One of Ataturk’s (the founder of the modern Turkish state) main legacies is this separation between the state and religion. Islam is the religion of the majority of the population but there are also Turkish Christians and Jews.

Customs and Cultural Codes

Both men and women greet by kissing both cheeks. If you want to visit a mosque (some are very beautiful) then shoes should be removed. Women’s heads, arms and legs should be covered. Men should wear trousers not shorts. Five times a day the Muezzin calls for worshippers to come and pray. You should not visit during these prayer times.


For more detailed information about Turkey check out the Turkish Culture and Tourism Office website.




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