About Turkey

Official Name

Republic of Turkey

 

Government

Democratically elected for a term of 4 years. The parliament is the legislative body with 550 seats. The governing body is the cabinet of ministries headed by prime minister.

 

Official Language

Turkish

 

Public Holidays

There are two types of public holidays in Turkey: Those that fall on the same day each year; and the religious festivals, which change according to the lunar calendar and, therefore, fall on different dates each year.

 

Weekend: Saturday & Sunday

1 January New Year

23 April Children Day Festival

1 May Labour Day

19 May Youth Festival and Commemoration Day of Ataturk

30 August Army Day 

29 October Republican Day

Eid Al-Fitr   (Ramadan Festival): 25 - 27 June 2017

Eid Al-Adha (Sacrificial Festival): 01 - 04 September 2017

 

Visas

Visa requirements for Turkey vary depending on nationality. The citizens of USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and EU may obtain a visa on arrival. As a guideline you can check the website for Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For the latest information on your specific visa requirements you should contact the local Turkish Embassy or Consulate near your planned date of travel.

Now Visa for Turkey is available for online purchase. Below is the link to get your visa for Turkey online.

https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/

 

Money

The monetary units in Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TL or TRY). For exchange rate you can click here.  Banks and ATM’s can be found almost everywhere in Turkey. Credit cards are accepted in most shops, restaurants and hotels. We recommend that you take either USD, EURO or GBP currency as other currencies might be difficult to exchange. Left over Turkish Liras at the end of your holiday can be exchanged back to any major currency at the exchange offices or banks. However large amount of Turkish Lira might be difficult to exchange in to a major currency.

 

Voltage

220 Volts. Sockets are of the European, two-pronged variety.

 

Food

Turkish cuisine is one of the main cuisine in the world. It is very diverse and changes from one region to another. Kebabs are grilled meat or chicken on skewer served with rice, salad and bread. Pide is Turkish pizza which is covered with cheese, minced meat or diced meat. Suluyemek which is basically stew dishes are very common for lunch. Generally meat or chicken stewed with different vegetable. The main vegetable in Turkish cuisine is eggplant (about 500 recipes) along with tomato, pepper, zucchini, potato, spinach, green beans, chickpeas etc. Mezes are cold starter which is anything from a yogurt dip to eggplant salad. Generally served in the restaurants known as Meyhane where alcoholic drinks are served. Turkish cuisine also has a large selection of worldwide known dessert such as baklava which is layered pastry stuffed with pistachio, walnut or hazelnut and soaked in honey or sugar sauce. While in Turkey you also have chance to taste a large selection of soup. Lentil soup is almost the national soup and comes in 2 different way. Mercimek çorbası is the plain lentil and ezogelin is spicy lentil soup. Another soup which is very common is yogurt soup known as yayla çorbası.

 

Drinks

Turkey is a tea country although it has been known with its coffee for centuries. While you are shopping in the bazaars you will regularly be offered apple tea. Naturally coffee comes Turkish style - strong. Turkish coffee is served generally after meals in small cups with thick layer of coffee mud in the bottom of the cup. Another common drinks is Ayran which is watered yoghurt with a pinch of salt. Although a vast majority of the population of Turkey are Muslim, most hotels, restaurants serve alcohol along with pubs and bars. The main local spirit is Rakı which is flavored with anise seeds and mixed with water changing color into white. Local beer “Efes Pilsen” is quite good. Turkish wine is also improved in last 20 years. Some of the Turkish grapes (Öküzgözü and Boğazkere are 2 best Turkish grapes) are blended with worldwide known grapes to make much smoother wine.

 

Geography

Turkey is a massive peninsula, covering an area of 814,578 square kilometers or 314,510 square miles and connecting Asia to Europe through the Sea of Marmara and the Straits of Bosporus (Istanbul) and Dardanelles (Çanakkale). Across the Sea of Marmara, the Eastern Trace is the continuation of Turkey on the European continent. Anatolia is the peninsula in the Asian Turkey, 1500 kilometers long and 550 kilometers wide and surrounded by the Black Sea in the North Marmara Sea in the North West, Aegean Sea in the West and Mediterranean Sea in the South. Central Turkey is plateau with an approximate altitude of 1000 meters above sea level surrounded by Black Sea mountain range in the north and Toros range in the south. The Eastern Turkey is mountainous highland with an approximate altitude of 2000 meters divided by deep river valleys and plateaus. Turkey is also a country of rivers and lakes. The Biblical rivers or Tigris (Dicle) and Euphrates are in Eastern Turkey and run into Iraq and Syria respectively. In central Turkey the Red River (Kızılırmak) and Green River (Yeşilırmak) cross entire region and run into Black Sea. The largest lake is Lake Van with soapy water in Eastern Turkey followed by one of the largest Salt Lake (Tuzgölü) in central Turkey. The highest peak in Turkey is Mt Ararat (Ağrı Dağı) in eastern Turkey with an altitude of 5137 meters.

 

Weather

The climate in Turkey varies greatly according to the region and the time of year. There are noticeable differences in temperature between the north and the south. In Western and South East of Turkey summer starts early and is pleasantly mild before to a hot and dry peak period. In Eastern Turkey summers are short and warm. Winters can be very harsh with lots of snow especially in central and eastern portion of the country. Spring is pleasant in Turkey with a mild temperature. On Mediterranean and Aegean Coast the climate is pleasant for most of the year.

For more up to date weather check out Turkish Meteorology website below.

http://mgm.gov.tr/en-US/forecast-5days.aspx