The official language is Turkish. However, English is widely spoken in major cities.
Turkish currency is the Turkish Lira, TL.
Banknotes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 & 200
Coins: 5, 10, 25 & 50 Kuruş and 1 TL
You can obtain currency before travelling to Turkey or on arrival. Foreign money can be changed at banks during business days (09.00-17.00 Monday-Friday) as well as at hotels, at the airport and in exchange offices. TL is freely sold and bought in hotels, banks and special exchange offices called "Döviz Bürosu".
Major credit cards including American Express, Diners, MasterCard, and Visa are accepted in large hotels, car rental companies, restaurants and shops. You will need cash (TL) to pay for taxi fares, restaurants and coffee shops. You can get cash with your credit card or cash card by using cash machines (ATM's) in bank buildings or street booths.
GMT+2. CET +1. and EST (US -East) +7
The workweek in Turkey runs from Monday to Friday. Banks, government offices and majority of corporate offices open at 9 AM and close at 5 PM.
For 108 countries visas are easily obtained upon arrival to the airport and are required for citizens of most countries. However, passport and visa requirements may differ according to the country of origin. Please contact your travel agent or the Turkish Consulate or Embassy in your country for further advice.
For official visa procedure please visit the official webpage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Visa web page www.mfa.gov.tr
Turkey has 220 volts/50 Hz. electricity and socket type is European standard. (2-pin plug).
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.
Taxis are easy to spot as they are all bright yellow in colour. All have a taxi meter, and you should ensure that this is switched on at the beginning of your journey. If you are travelling outside the city boundaries it is usual to agree a fixed rate in advance.
For general information on the climate and up-to-date weather forecasts visit www.meteoroloji.gov.tr
Prepaid telephone cards are a convenient way to make domestic and international telephone calls from public phones. They can be purchased at convenience stores and from vending machines for approximately 10 Euro. There are four international phone companies and their rates vary. Your hotel probably provides fax service at the front desk. Some convenience stores have fax services too.
Convenience store can be found on almost every city block. A variety of foods, drinks (most sell alcoholic beverages and cigarettes), toiletries, magazines, instant cameras, stationery, recording media, etc. can be purchased in these 24 – hours open stores.
In places where service is not included, it is custom to tip for the table services you received. And even in the handful of places where service is included (just as on mainland Europe) the waiters will expect you to tip on top of that. The rule of thumb is to leave a tip worth 10% of the bill in restaurants, cafés and bars. But restaurants, cafés and bars are not the only places where tips are expected. It is also a custom to tip hotel staff, porters, hairdressers and musicians. The amount is at your discretion. Tipping taxi drivers is not custom, unless he helped you load the luggage. A consumption Tax is included in the price of goods and services in Turkey. The prices displayed on goods usually include tax, but some retailers will add the tax at the cash register.
Please note that smoking is prohibited by law within the convention premises as well as in restaurants and public buildings.