In Turkey the USD and Euro are widely accepted. Known brand name traveler's checks in USD & Euro can be exchanged at local banks, privately owned exchange businesses and international hotels.
Although keep in mind that some businesses, because of banks long processing time, they prefer not accepting travelers checks. Meanwhile ATM service is available in urban areas.
People living in Turkey are free to have foreign currency in their possession; to buy foreign currency without limitation from banks, authorized institutions and private finance institutions; to transfer foreign currency abroad; and to open foreign currency deposit accounts at banks.
When you arrive at the airport in Turkey, we suggest that you not exchange a large amount of your money for Turkish Lira at the money exchange desk. Get only the amount you need for your transportation and other immediate needs.
Also, at the airport, you may be charged a hidden commission. You can get better exchange rates at partially and privately owned exchange offices which are located everywhere. To find one, ask anyone where there is an exchange office (Doviz burosu in Turkish).
Also, ATM machines are available in the large cities and in towns that cater to tourists.
At midnight on January 1, 2005 Turkey dropped six zeros from its currency when it introduced the YTL (Yeni Türk Lirasi): New Turkish Lira. Starting January 1, 2006 the old currency was removed from circulation. Although the old Lira can no longer be used, people who have them have until 2016 to convert them in banks to the new currency.
Although exchange rates fluctuate, one TL is worth approximately USD 0.65. Conversely, USD 1.00 is approximately TL 1.66 (as of July 21, 2011.
Turkey ->> ONE TIME ZONE ! Turkey (Turkiye) has one time zone throughout the entire country. Here shown actual time in Turkey and the temperature for Istanbul. For temperature of other major tourist destinations, please see related cities pages of this site or click here.
Turkey is 7 hours ahead of EST (USA) and 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Meantime during the summer and 1 hour during the winter season.
Turkish hospitality is one of the cornerstones of the Turkish way of life and Turks are famous with it.
In every corner of the country such a traditional hospitality will meet you.
Almost every individual feels bound to honor his guest in the best possible manner. They will open their houses to every guest with a smiling face and with all their sincerity give the best seat and cook the best food for their guest.
The mentality of Turkish idea on hospitality is whichever your religion is, whichever country you come from, whatever language you speak... you are a GOD's GUEST ( Allah misafiri ), so you deserve to be welcomed in such a manner.
You will find during your visit that people will go out of their way to help you and feel welcomed. This is the meaning of 'Turkish hospitality'.
" I can say this about Turks: If one is your friend, it's a lifetime friendship and I have hundreds of examples in my life so far, and that life has been greatly enriched by having lived in Turkey, met its
people, traveled its countryside, and I continue to associate with Turks every day." Jan Claire, Editor/www.merhabaturkey.com(Jan.19,05)
"During the twenty-five years I spent in the military, I had the privilege of traveling extensively in several countries. I enjoyed all of them, but Turkey is by far my favorite.
Why? There are many reasons. First among them are the people. I have never met more gracious, friendly people. Perhaps second is the Turkish food."
Malcolm 'MAC' Taylor, US Air Force/Retired
Feb. 21, 2008
INTERESTING FACTS ON TURKEY & TURKS:
Although Turkish coffee (Kahve) is world famous, but it is not, as one might think, the Turkish national drink. That honor goes to the black tea, what Turks call Cay (pronounced 'chay').
By the way; CAY is not drunk from porcelain cups or mugs, Turks drink Çay with a small tulip shaped clear glass, which called Cay bardagi in Turkish. It is served unsweetened, but is accompanied by one or two sugar cubes and a small spoon on the saucer.
Turkish coffee is a drink for real coffee lovers - for those who truly know and understand the flavor of the coffee itself. It is drunk almost exclusively by adults and is never drunk at breakfast or with regular meals, but after a good meal. It is something to be shared with close friends who have time to sit, relax, and enjoy life's finer offerings. Turks have, therefore, made the brewing and drinking of coffee a fine art.
It is drunk almost exclusively by adults, and is often accompanied by a cigarette and perhaps a pastry.
Turks are very superstitious, so after drinking their coffee, they love to read the future, through shapes that coffee grounds forms, at the bottom and on the sides of their coffee cup, what it called 'fincan'.
If you want to do the same thing, after finishing your coffee, you need to cover the cup with the saucer, swirl the coffee sediment to coat the inside of the cup and then turn your cup upside down and wait while the coffee drains into the saucer. Then, ask an expert to read your future. Many older women know how to read the future, which is called 'FAL' in Turkish from the patterns the coffee grounds leave on the walls of the cup.
>> Read more on Turkish Coffee In general, Turks take their shoes off upon entering a house. Thus, the dust and dirt of the outdoors are not tracked inside. Traditionally, most Turkish families keep some extra pairs of slippers at home for their guests.
Turkish language is completely phonetic so every word pronounce exactly as spelled. There are 29 latin letters in the alphabet, without use of X , Q and
W. The Turkish language belongs to the URAL-ALTAIC GROUP and has the Finno-Hungarian Languages.
Through the span of history, Turks have spread over a vast geographical area, taking their language with them.
During the Ottoman era, Turkish speaking people lived in a wide area stretching from today's Mongolia to the northern coast of the Black Sea... Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Azerbaijan, the Balkans... Bulgaria, Macedonia, East Europe... Greece and the Middle East... Iraq, Syria, Iran and a wide area of northern Africa. Today various dialects and accents have emerged from these distances.
In Cyprus, Turkish is the co-official language with Greek. About 155 million people speak Turkish in the world.
>> Read more on Turkish language Don't confuse Turkey with other Moslem (Muslim) or/and Arab (Arap) countiries in the world!
Turkish women don't wear, what call 'burkhas' or any of the other head-to-toe coverings. Although you will see some of Turkish women dressed modestly and wearing headscarfs, this is not required, or even encouraged, and has more to do with family traditions and personal religious expressions. You will more likely see Turkish women wearing stylish western clothing.
Women in Turkey are free to enjoy all the freedoms that men do, and also serve in prestigious positions in businesses and government. About 15 years ago Turkey even had a woman prime minister, and women freedoms are guaranteed by the constitution of the Republic of Turkey.
If you travel by Turkish Airlines you might notice this: Turkish people occasionally clap when their plane lands at an airport. We believe this is to give thanks or to rate the pilot's landing performance :)
Turks love to drink their refreshment drink 'Ayran' for any occasion... especially during summer time.
AYRAN is a cold, frothy yoghurt drink whipped with water and salt and the finest thirst quencher on offer. Ayran is served cool, and is a common accompaniment to famous döner kabop. Can you believe this, now even McDonald franchisees in Turkey included this high demand refreshment to their menu.
In Turkey most of public restrooms (toilets) are not free of charge. Sometimes even restrooms are in restaurants or/and museums might not be free of charge too. And fee changes from one place to another... Please keep this in mind that; all tourists
need to pay a little bit attention of having some currency in change with them, before
the day start.
( Continued on in the middle section of next page )
WHEN YOU GO TO TURKEY
WHAT SHOULD YOU PACK? Turkey has a diverse range of climates. The coast is generally mild in winter and hot in summer. The interior is warm in summer and cold in winter so you will need to bring clothes according to the season.
Turks are generally formal in their choice of clothing and so there is little need to bring formal wear.
Business dress is the same as in Europe or North America, although women are advised to wear business suits with below the knee long skirts, to avoid any misunderstandings.