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A Guide To Turkey - The Lifestyle

Living in the Sun - International Property Sales

Information kindly provided by Living in the Sun -


The Lifestyle
So many sights to see - there are fantastic reminders of previous civilisations, natural  marvels, and stunning scenery. For example, you could visit Mount Ararat where the Ark landed, or travel along the fabled Silk Road....

There are  spas, skiing, archaeology, and for sailors there are 32,000 yachts in the many marinas. 

Turkey is a fantastic place.

Time Sport/Hobbies
Driving Festivals/B.Holidays Shopping Media


So many influences on the cuisine of Turkey, but it;s food is good, perhaps a little like Greek food. Lots of salad, kebab style dishes, at very good prices. Have a look at these recipes for an idea of what you might find in a resuarant.



Except at the cheapest restaurants, a 10%-15% charge is added to the bill. As the money does not necessarily find its way to the waiter, leave an additional 10% on the table or hand it to the waiter. In top restaurants waiters expect tips of between 10% and 15%.

Hotel porters expect between $1 and $4 and the chambermaid about $2.

Taxi drivers don't expect tips, although they are becoming accustomed to foreigners' giving them something. Round off the fare to the nearest 100,000 Turkish lira.

At Turkish baths the staff that attends you expects to share a tip of 30%-35% of the bill. Don't worry about missing them -- they'll be lined up expectantly on your departure.


Turkey is 2 hours ahead of the UK.

Mountaineering: Turkey has a number of mountain ranges with peaks ranging from heights of 3250m (10,660ft) to the 5165m (16,945ft) of Mount Agri (Ararat), the highest mountain in Anatolia, which provide excellent climbing possibilities for both the novice and more expert climber. Permission is required from the Turkish Mountaineering Club.

Skiing: Winter sports resorts in Turkey are generally located in forested mountains. Ski centres are often easily accessible by road or by Turkish Airlines domestic flights. Most resorts are in the north (near Ankara) and the western interior (see Resorts & Excursions section).

Watersports: The Mediterranean coast, particularly Izmir, has very warm waters and watersports are widely available.

Trekking: Turkey’s vast interior of unspoilt nature, mountains, plateaux, villages and ancient ruins is perfect for exploring on foot.

Golf: There are currently five championship courses in Turkey; one of which is at the Klassis resort close to Istanbul, the other four of which are in the resort of Belek in the Antalya region.


The cardinal rules of safety to survive Turkish driving are: drive very defensively, avoid driving at night, and never let emotions affect what you do. Watch out for "unexpected" actions quite common in Ankara and Istanbul and other parts of the country.  The key to reducing accidents is situational awareness, concentration and extremely defensive driving.

 Always wear seat belts, and children should ride in the back seat with seat belts on and/or in a child safety seat. Dusk is a particularly dangerous time on intercity highways because most drivers delay turning on their headlights until well after dark. Oncoming traffic can be very difficult to see.

Use your horn to get pedestrians' attention, use horn and lights to get the attention of other drivers, and especially pay attention when other drivers use their horns. Check all mirrors and use directional signals for lane changes, and check right side mirror in particular, confirming with a direct visual check. Make sure your lights, signals, horn and brakes are in proper order.

Use four-way flashers to warn drivers behind of slowed/blocked traffic to avoid being hit from behind. 

Watch out for trucks and buses that take the right-of-way without signaling, whether they are entitled to it or not, passing on the right and cutting in front of other vehicles from the right side happens - as does unexpected stops or turns without signaling, for no apparent reason. Drivers may also stop in unexpected locations to pick up or let off passengers. 

Pedestrians can be seemingly completely oblivious to oncoming traffic who continue to walk or run in front of vehicles to cross streets and main highways.

Vehicles may be parked at night without lights on the highway rather than on the side of the road..

Tire-shredding potholes can be a problem in rural areas

Watch for unmarked intersections (i.e., no stop signs), primary road has right of way, but proceed with caution.

You should always have your vehicle registration, insurance policy, and driver's license (or copies) in your car. If there is an accident, you will need all three.

Vehicle Equipment


-- First-aid kit and  Reflective warning triangle


Fire extinguisher                
Locking gas cap
An inexpensive camera with fiash to document accidents
Tow rope or cable
Jump leads
Spare directional and headlamp bulbs            

If a winter visit, consider Snow chains. During storms, vehicles without chains are not allowed on some roads and bridges.

Important Road Signs

Dur. - Stop Tek yon - one way
Girilmez - No entry (in general)  Tasit Giremez - No vehicle entry
Giris - Entrance Cikis - Exit 
Park  - yapilmaz/edilmez No parking -  Parketmek yasaktir
No parking  - Sehir merkezi City center - Arac cikabilir.
Vehicles exiting  - Askeri bolge Military Zone  - Hastane
Hospital  - Yaya gecidi Pedestrian Crossing  - Tirmanma seridi
Road work  - Yol tamiri  Road repair - Yol yapimi
Road construction  - Servis Yolu Long vehicle  - Tirmanma sagdan
Rest area  - Servis Aiani   Service area  - Uzun arac
Temporary road (detour)  - Agir Tasitlar Sagdan gidiniz..

Key Motoring Terms

Benzin - Gas/petrol Kursunsuz  - Lead free
Diesel  - Tehlikeli Madde Dangerous materials (propane, etc.) Lastikci
Tire repair  - Sanayi bolgesi  Repair shop zone  - Otogar
Bus station  - Kar  Snow -  Buz
Ice  - Kaza raporu   



1 January- Wednesday
1 January- Thursday
New Year
10 February- Monday
(starting at 1.00 p.m.)
11 February- Tuesday
12 February- Wednesday
13 February- Thursday
14 February- Friday
31 January- Saturday
(starting at 1.00 p.m.)
1 February- Sunday
2 February- Monday
3 February- Tuesday
4 February- Wednesday
Religious Holiday
24 November- Monday
(starting at 1.00 p.m.)
25 November- Tuesday
26 November- Wednesday
27 November- Thursday
13 November- Saturday
(starting at 1.00 p.m.)
14 November- Sunday
15 November- Monday
16 November- Tuesday
Religious Holiday
23 April- Wednesday
23 April- Friday
National Sovereignty 
and Children’s Day
19 May- Monday
19 May- Wednesday
Atatürk Memorial 
and Youth and Sports Day
30 August- Saturday
30 August- Monday
Victory Day
28 October- Tuesday
(starting at 1.00 p.m.)  
29 October- Wednesday
28 October- Thursday
(starting at 1.00 p.m.)
29 October- Friday
Republic Day

Shop for handwoven rugs and kilims, Iznik tiles, leather and suede items, ceramics, silk, jewelry, alabaster, onyx, embroidery, brass samovars, meerschaum pipes and copperware and brassware. Some vendors in the markets are aggressive, so brace yourself. You'll be offered many "antiquities," but most likely they're fakes. If you do want to buy an antique or any item that may be deemed a cultural artifact, make sure you can get an official permit to export it before you purchase it. Those who don't have a permit sometimes end up in jail (this is increasingly rare), but are most likely to have their treasures confiscated at customs, even when the treasures are of no real antiquity. Some travelers have reported that new pine furniture was confiscated, so always get a certificate - Turkish officials have a great respect for stamped and signed pieces of paper.

Shopping Hours: Monday-Saturday 9 am-1 pm and 2-7 pm.

Banking Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 am-noon and 1:30-5 pm.

Satellite TV is readily available in many languages, including English and German. In order to have all documentation in your own names, a residency visa is required. There is a wide selection of satellite packages available in Turkey.

Telephones are either bought on the black market at up to £400 or your name is put on a waiting list where you can wait for anything from a week to three years, depending on availability in your area. There is a small standing charge payable annually approximately £12.00. Lines are generally good and Internet access easy and well serviced. 

There is a national daily newspaper printed in English, the Turkish Daily News. A short-wave radio is useful to pick up the BBC Worldservice. Television reception is good and if you buy Digiturk Satelllite system you recieve 52 channels including MGM, Movie Max 1&2, BBC Prime, Discovery Channel, Eurosport, CNN world news, etc. There are large European communities living in Turkey full time, plus many transitory people living on boats in the harbours for months at a time. During the winter months there are many social occasions arranged such as book swaps, walks, BBQ's, card evenings and inland trips.


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