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About your travel to Turkey for your Turkey Holidays

Turkey has breathtaking natural beauty, unique historical and archaeological sites, an excellent hotel and touristic infrastructure, a tradition of hospitality and generously competitive prices. It is also one of only a few countries in the world that straddles two continents. Anatolia, the larger part of the country is located in Western Asia, while Thrace, the much smaller part, forms the extreme south eastern tip of Europe.

It’s certainly not surprising that Turkey has now become one of the world's most popular vacation destinations, and due to its diverse geography, you can experience up to four different climates on any given day. A rectangular shaped country; it is surrounded on three sides by three different seas with beaches, bays, coves, ports, islands and peninsulas. It is also blessed with mountains and valleys, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and grottos perfect for winter and summer holidays in Turkey.

Location: Turkey is located on the Mediterranean, in the Anatolian region of West Asia, with a small section in South-eastern Europe separated by the Turkish Straits (Bosphorus, Sea of Marmara, and Dardanelles). With the Black Sea to the north and the Aegean Sea in the west and Mediterranean Sea to the southwest, Turkey is surrounded by Bulgaria and Greece to the west, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to the northeast, Syria, Iraq and Iran to the southeast.

Capital: Ankara

Population: 73 million people live in Turkey - 99% of the population are Muslim. - Its most crowded cities are Istanbul (13 Million), the capital Ankara (5 Million), Izmir (4 Million), Bursa (2.5 Million) and Adana (2 Million)

Official Language: The official language of Turley is Turkish, although English is widely spoken.

Passport, Visa and Health Requirements: - Australian passport holders require visas. A 3 month multiple entry visa costs USD20 and is easily obtained on arrival at air, sea and land entry points. No vaccinations required unless arriving from infected areas.

Banks: - Banks are open from 0830 - 1200 & 1330 - 1700 Monday to Friday.

Currency: The national monetary unit is Turkish Lira (TL). It has a problematic 100% Inflation rate per annum. The USD, GBP and DM are also widely accepted currencies and are certainly good for bargaining.

Smoking: Turks smoke a lot, and whilst smoking is actually forbidden by Turkish law in closed public areas (such as buses), most adults smoke which can still cause some discomfort for strict non smokers.

Climate: When you travel to Turkey, you will enjoy a variety of climates changing from the temperate and rainy climate of Black Sea to the continental climate of the interior, then, to the Mediterranean climate of the Aegean and the Mediterranean Coastal regions. Summers are very hot, springs are warm and winters are usually cold. Autumn is nice for the entire duration of September and October. Then the weather starts to cool down.

Phone Service: - Turkey has three GSM operators, with all of them offering 3G services and almost over 95% coverage over the country. Internet service is available all around the country.

Health and Medical Services: - Cities and major touristic towns have a selection of private international and public hospitals with good standards.

Tipping: - Tips are accepted and definitely appreciated (Recommended) even in cheap restaurants, hotels. In expensive restaurants, hotels and in hairdressers, tipping is customary.

Electricity: Electricity is supplied at 220 volts. Plugs have two round prongs.

Attire: - In Turkey anything goes – it is a VERY casual approach to life and attire. A head scarf and modest dress is recommended for women when visiting mosques, and shoes will be required to be removed.

Transport:- Turkey generally has a an excellent bus network and some rail and coastal ferries. Dolmus (shared taxi service usually a minibus), taxis and buses for local travel.

Driving: - If you travel to Turkey, driving is on the right hand side of the road. Signage is in English (Though spelling will vary) and roads are well-maintained. A local (Example: Australian) driving licence is sufficient.

Accommodation: - Turkey offers a huge range of accommodation from Pensions to 2 star Budget all the way up to 5 Star Luxury. Most hotels include buffet breakfast, though many offer also half board (Breakfast and Dinner) packages.

Major Tourist Attractions & Archaeological Sites: Turkey is often referred to as "the world's largest open air museum" and even seasoned travellers will find new, exciting vacation experiences. Opportunities for water sports, trekking, climbing, shopping, nightclubbing, relaxing on a beach or spending time exploring natural wonders, ancient cities and cultures are everywhere. Istanbul, Antalya and the south coast, Cappadocia and Gallipoli are just some of the attractions.

Clothing: For hotter times of the year (June to mid-September) of Marmara, Aegean, and Mediterranean - take light, cotton summer clothing and cardigans for the evening. For Black Sea, Central and Eastern Anatolia - besides summer wear, warmer clothing should also be taken for cool evenings, especially at high altitudes.

For winter, woollens and rain gears are suggested. Most of the country is cold and rainy, High Central and Eastern Anatolia are mostly snowy. Mediterranean coast does not get very cold.

Comfortable shoes are highly recommended for visits to archaeological and historical sites.

Food and Drink: Turkish cuisine is rich, diverse and one of the world's healthiest. Food is prepared using the freshest ingredients. Famous and popular dishes include: kebabs, vegetable dishes, pide, baklava, Turkish coffee, raki, and Turkish delight.. Alcohol is also widely available.

Water: Buying and drink bottled water is definitely suggested. Tap water has no guarantee at all to be clean enough to drink and can cause stomach problems. In many places it may also have a nasty taste as most places it is very chlorinated.

Shopping: - Turkey's exchange rate makes any luxury affordable and any shopaholic ecstatic. Shopping suggestions are;

Turkish Carpets - Carpet weaving is traditional in Turkey. Turkish Carpets are famous for their beauty and durability. That's because they are the most important shopping products for foreign people. Also carpets from other countries such as Iran, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan are widespread at the shops.
Ceramics - Ceramics made in Kutahya and Iznik are unique and well-known. There are also handmade tiles, plates, cups, bowls which are very decorative and interest taking.
Copper Vessels - They are one of the most purchased antique-like decorative goods by foreigners. Being a coppersmith was traditional in Ottoman Empire.
Jewellery - Gold and silver are well found.
Leather - It is a big industry in Turkey. You can find many Leather shoes, bags, cushions, jackets, hats, trousers are attractive.

Official holidays & Festivals 2014
Wednesday Jan 1 New Year's Day National holiday
Thursday Mar 20 March equinox Season
Wednesday Apr 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day National holiday
Thursday May 1 Labor and Solidarity Day National holiday
Monday May 19 Commemoration of Atatrk, Youth and Sports Day National holiday
Saturday Jun 21 June Solstice Season
Sunday Jul 27 Ramadan Feast Eve Half Day
Monday Jul 28 Ramadan Feast National holiday
Tuesday Jul 29 Ramadan Feast Day 2 Extra Public Holiday
Wednesday Jul 30 Ramadan Feast Day 3 Extra Public Holiday
Saturday Aug 30 Victory Day National holiday
Tuesday Sep 23 September equinox Season
Friday Oct 3 Sacrifice Feast Eve Half Day
Saturday Oct 4 Sacrifice Feast National holiday
Sunday Oct 5 Sacrifice Feast Day 2 Extra Public Holiday
Monday Oct 6 Sacrifice Feast Day 3 Extra Public Holiday
Tuesday Oct 7 Sacrifice Feast Day 4 Extra Public Holiday
Tuesday Oct 28 Republic Day Eve Half Day
Wednesday Oct 29 Republic Day National holiday
Sunday Dec 21 December Solstice Season
Wednesday Dec 31 New Year's Eve Observance

Religious festivals such as Ramazan and Kurban Bayrami are also official holidays. Since these festivals are according to Hicri calender, their dates change every year.

Nov 10, 9:05 AM - Traffic usually stops and sirens blare for two minutes starting at 9:05 AM, the time when Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, died in Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul in 1938. That moment in time is officially observed throughout the country but businesses and official places are not closed for the day.

Popular locations in Turkey that you might want to visit:

Click the map below for a larger view
Map of Turkey