Turkey is a paradise of sun, sea, mountains, and lakes that offers the vacationer a complete change from the stress and routine of everyday life. From April to October, most places in Turkey have an ideal climate that is perfect for relaxing on sandy beaches or enjoying the tranquillity of mountains and lakes.

Turkey also has a magnificent past, and is a land full of historic treasures from 13 successive civilizations spanning 10,000 years. Even if you spend only a short time in Turkey, you can see a lot of this great past.


The official language in Turkey is Turkish and this is spoken by about 90-95% of the population. Kurdish is also spoken by a minority in the southeast. French, German and English are widely spoken in cities.


New Turkish Lira (YTL). YTL banknotes are; 1,5,10,20,50,100, and denominations for coins are 1,5,10,25,50 New Cent and 1 YTL. The sub-unit of YTL is YKr (Yeni Kurus) and 1 YTL = 100 YKr


Turkey's climate is varied, but typically Mediterranean with hot summers and mild winters. Lighter winds prevail along the Mediterranean coast and nights are usually calm. There is a heavy swell along this coast. In summer, the Aegean is dominated by the northerly Meltemi Wind, which blows from May till the end of August and at its peak can be very strong. The Black Sea has more extremes and is more humid with the most rain.


The great city of Istanbul is steeped in history with attractions such as the Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque. The many bazaars and craftsmen make many areas interesting and atmospheric to visit.

North of Istanbul you will find the Gallipoli battlefields and south the ancient cities of the excavated site of Troy.

The west coast has many resort towns including the popular Bodrum and the main resort town, Antalya is on Turkey’s south coast. In central Turkey you can explore the strange rock formations and cave dwellings of the Cappadocian valleys.


  • The blood alcohol limit in Turkey is 50mg.
  • Drivers must be over 21 and have a valid driving license.
  • Headlights should always be used when driving.
  • Use of the horn is illegal except in cases of immediate and extreme danger.
  • Seat belts are compulsory for front- and rear-seat passengers.
  • You must carry two warning triangles, fire extinguisher and first-aid kit in your vehicle.
  • Drunk drivers are taken ten miles from town by the police and forced to walk back under escort.

Food and Drink

Turkish food combines culinary traditions of a pastoral people originating from Central Asia and the influences of the Mediterranean regions.

Lamb is a basic meat featured on all menus and dishes include Shish kebab - pieces of meat threaded on a skewer and grilled and Doner kebab - pieces of lamb packed tightly round a revolving spit. Fish and shellfish are very fresh, and include: Barbunya - red mullet, Kiliç and Baligi – swordfish. Other traditional dishes include: Dolma - vine leaves stuffed with nuts and currants and Karniyarik - aubergine stuffed with minced meat.

There are also a wide range of Turkish sweets and pastries including the famous Turkish Delight (originally made from dates, honey, roses and jasmine bound by Arabic gum and designed to sweeten the breath after coffee).

Guests are usually able to go into a kitchen and choose from the pots if they cannot understand the names of the dishes. Table service is common.

Turkish beer, red and white wines are reasonable. The national drink is raki (anisette), known as 'lion's milk' which clouds when water is added. Drinking raki is a ritual and is traditionally accompanied by a variety of meze (hors d'oeuvres).Turkey is a secular state and alcohol is permitted, although during Ramadan it is considered polite for the visitor to avoid drinking alcohol. Ayran (a refreshing yoghurt drink), tea, and strong black Turkish coffee are widely available.


Where nightlife in Turkey is concerned, Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir, are the places to be. The State Symphony Orchestra and State Opera and Ballet offer the works of Turkish and foreign composers under the direction of world famous Turkish and guest foreign directors. Alongside the Turkish theatre, there are foreign theatrical groups which come to Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir from time to time.

For a different view of nightlife in Turkey, there are nightclubs and colorful shows. Wherever you are, you will be able to go into a nightclub and taste some Turkish food while enjoying yourself until morning. The discos in resort areas and large cities have the latest facilities.


Istanbul's Kapali Carsi Bazaar has jewellery, carpets and antiques for sale. Turkish handicrafts include a rich variety of textiles and embroideries, articles of copper, onyx and tile, mother-of-pearl, inlaid articles, leather and suede products, jewellery and, above all, carpets and kilims. The most popular objects for the holiday makers are, of course, carpets, but the various leather and suede goods, copper and bronze wares, silver, ceramics, handicrafts, embroidery, and the famous Turkish meerschaum and onxy are on many shopping lists too.

Shopping hours: Mon-Sat 0900-1300 and 1400-2000 (closed Sunday). Istanbul covered market: Mon-Sat 0800-1900.

Tourist Information

www.gototurkey.co.ukTel: (Information Line) 020 7629 7771 Tel: (Brochure Line) 09001 88 77 55 Fax: 020 7491 0773 Email: info@gototurkey.co.uk