Here's everything you need to know before you go from what weather to expect to how to apply for a visa. There's also a list of useful products and services such as traveler's insurance companies, and much more.
Most travelers can purchase a visa at any port of entry, but you must have cash. They do not accept traveler's checks or Turkish lira. If you'd like to avoid the delay of purchasing a visa when you arrive, you can apply online.
Americans and U.K. residents need visas. Visas are good for three months. There is a non-refundable processing fee of 26 USD in cash or money order for single entry or 87 USD in cash or money order for multiple entry, payable to Turkish Consulate General. Full information on these requirements is available at the Turkish Consulate Online.
Australians and Canadians do not need visas and may stay for three months. Australians can reach the Turkish Embassy in Canberra.
Danes can reach the Turkish Embassy in Copenhagen.
Germans can reach the Turkish Embassy in Bonn.
The Swiss can reach the Turkish consulate in Zurich.
For a full list of Turkish consulates and missions, go to www.mfa.gov.tr.
If you don't find your country, you can e-mail the closest Turkish Embassy regarding visa requirements.
The British Foreign Office provides up-to-date information for travelers to Turkey. They offer information and addresses of British Consular Services Abroad as well as practical tips and health information. They also offer a new service you can sign up for that sends you updates on any country you request!
Street Crime in Turkey is another important consideration. You can find information at the US Embassy's Ankara website.
The U.S. State Department encourages its citizens visiting in Turkey to register either with the Embassy in Ankara or the consulates in Istanbul or Adana.
What immunizations do you need for your trip? The Center for Disease Control (CDC) at has the answers for you and your physician.
Absolutely, positively think about travel insurance. Turkish hospitals and physicians do not operate on the Hippocratic oath, unless you have cash, a charge card, or insurance! Here are a few companies that offer traveler's insurance on-line.
J.N. Grace Online Travel Insurance is a U.S. company that offers insurance to anyone, but travel must originate in the U.S. or Canada.
Travel Guard International is another U.S. company.
The Travel Insurance Agency is a British company that specializes in travel insurance. They offer all types of travel insurance for UK citizens and non-UK citizens worldwide.
BKR Insurance is a New Zealand company.
The Turkish Ministry of Tourism has an excellent site. Although the default page is in Turkish, you can select other languages at the bottom of the page.
For a list of Turkish tourism offices around the world go to Tourism Offices Worldwide Directory, select Turkey from the pull-down menu and click the Display button.
If, you're planning ahead, here's historical information provided by the Turkish Embassy, Washington, D.C. It shows average air and water temperatures for Turkey's major cities.
The cheapest way to make domestic calls is from a public phone using a phone card bought at the post office (PTT). If the PTT is closed, you can usually find local entrepreneurs selling cards at a slight mark up near the public phones.
Your next challenge is to find a phone that is working. Lift the hand set and push the language button for either English, German or French and see what it says. If its says, "Welcome," you have a phone that is working. Insert the phone card according to the arrow and you're ready to start dialing.
Inside Turkey numbers outside your area code require a 0+ area code + number. Bodrum and Datca, for example, are in the same area code and don't require an 0 + area code. If you dial an area code when you don't need one, you'll just get a busy signal.
If you use a Kontrol Telephone at your pension or a shop, expect to pay 3 to 4 times the PTT rate. This is not the phone to use for International calls.
To make a long distance international call you will need at least one 100 unit phone card. It maybe good for from 2 - 4 minutes. The card is around $4. If you wish to dial an operator, in your home country use the Home Direct phone number, which is free.
The University of Arizona in Tucson offers excellent resources for learning conversational Turkish.
Also, travlang.com offers Turkish for Travelers. Select the language you speak from the pulldown menu, the click on the Turkish flag near the bottom of the page to access the site.
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