WHY TO VISIT TURKEY
Straddling the two continents, Europe and Asia, Turkey goes well beyond the clichés expected by many tourists: It is a multi-faceted country with likeable people; it will appeal to you in many ways.
Istanbul, vibrant and dynamic, modern yet rich in history, it will take you into another world: St. Sophia’s Cathedral, the famous Grand Bazaar, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, these are obviously all places you should visit. Do not miss one of the many excursions available on the Bosphorus with its beautiful shoreline.
The west coast, bordered by the Aegean Sea, is totally dedicated to tourism, and you will find beautiful beaches there and famous places with many vestiges of antiquity such as Ephesus, Troy and Bergama.
Another region to discover is Cappadocia and its high plateaus, located at more than one thousand meters of altitude, its caves and canyons and its troglodyte villages and cave churches.
The Lycie coast at the south will satisfy those who appreciate coves and turquoise waters, there are also ancient ruins to discover in the beautiful hilly landscapes.
In the centre of the country, high up, is the city of Konya, with its beautiful mosques and a museum dedicated to the whirling dervishes; the Mevlâna Museum.
WHAT TO SEE IN TURKEY
Top destinations in Turkey are:
- Melá Mountain
- Mount Nemrut
WHEN TO GO TO TURKEY
Best period to visit Turkey is from May to June.
The climate in Turkey is influenced by its eastern location and by the sea that surrounds it. Summers are very hot and humid in some areas. As soon as one moves away from the sea, temperatures can be scorching. At altitude, however, the nights are cool. On the Black Sea Coast, the climate is almost tropical in some respects and the vegetation is very dense.
Winters are harsh inland, more humid on the coast. Enjoy discovering the country during the months of May and June, or September and October for the best conditions, both in terms of climate and prices.
Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of Turkey.
HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH TURKEY
For transportation within the country, the bus is widely used and quite cheap for long journeys, minibuses are more convenient for shorter journeys. A rental car is ideal for exploring the whole country but is quite expensive. In town, taxis are quite numerous and affordable.
by plane, main airports are:
- Istanbul (Atatürk)
- Istanbul (Sabiha Gökçen)
GENERAL INFORMATION ON TURKEY
country entry requirements: passport + visa (check your visa requirements)
health tips & vaccination: drink only bottled water and avoid ice
local currency: Turkish Lira
local time zone: GMT+2 (+3)
electricity: type C and F (220 V, 50 Hz)
mobile phone operators:
WHAT TO DO IN TURKEY
typical food in Turkey
- Köfte: spicy sausage-shaped meatballs made of minced lamb
- Shish kebab: pieces of meat threaded on a skewer and grilled. Can be dipped in yogurt or eaten it on its own
- Dolma: vine leaves or vegetables stuffed with pine nuts and currants
- Lokum: nougaty dessert originally made from dates, honey, roses and jasmine bound by Arabic gum and designed to sweeten the breath after coffee
- Raki: anisette, which clouds when water is added. Drinking raki is a ritual and is traditionally accompanied by a variety of meze
- Ayran: a refreshing yoghurt drink
- Çay: (tea) usually drunk black and strong and served in small tulip-shaped glasses
- Turkish coffee: traditionally brewed over hot coals and served very sweet
- Menemen: scrambled eggs cooked in sautéed vegetables and served hot with bread. Usually eaten for breackfast
- Köfte: balls or patties of ground beef or lamb, and can be served stewed, in sandwiches, over salads, or plain with yogurt.
- Mantı: small beef or lamb dumplings boiled or fried and served with yogurt or butter, and often accompanied with a range of spices.
- Kuzu Tandır: dish of lamb hung and slow roasted whole, often served with rice or potatoes, and yogurt.
- Lahmacun: flat and crispy bread traditionally topped with minced meat, salad, and lemon juice , and can be wrapped, folded in half, or pulled apart to eat.
- Börek: savoury pastry that comes in many varieties, most popularly filled with minced meat or spinach and cheese. Börek can be rolled, served as puffs, or layered like lasagna, and served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack.
- Baklava: dessert pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey
- Pide: boat-shaped flatbread served with a variety of toppings, often minced meat or spinach and cheese
- Güllaç: dessert made from dough, milk, rosewater, nuts, and pomegranate seeds.
- Meze: is a selection of small dishes served to accompany alcoholic drinks, usually served at the beginning of multi-course meals
- Pilav: dish in which rice is cooked in a seasoned broth
- Kayısı Tatlısı: morsels of apricot stuffed with cream and nuts i
- Baklalı Enginar: peeled artichokes dressed in oil and lemon juice and served cold with beans and fresh parsley
- Su Böreği: dish made from dough softened and cooked in milk and eggs, stuffed with cheese and spinach
- Mozaik Pasta: chocolate cake made with chocolate sauce and broken biscuits
- Mercimek Köftesi: vegetarian meat balls made from lentils, bulgur, and chopped vegetables
- Döner: slow cooked meat sandwich, made with chicken, lamb, or beef and served with vegetables, spices, and garlic yogurt.
- İmam Bayıldı: stuffed aubergine filled with rice, bulgur, mince, and/or other vegetebles and smothered in oil and butter before being baked or cooked on the stovetop.
- İskender Kebab: long strips of lamb cooked in tomato sauce and served over rice and pita bread with yogurt.
- Künefe: dessert, made from cheese baked with shredded pastry dough and topped with pistachio,
- Dürüm: a kind of burrito, dürüm is slow cooked chicken, lamb, or beef served inside a wrap. The perfect takeaway food, dürüm offers the best of Turkish flavours on the go.
- Balık Ekmek: fish sandwich is best enjoyed along the water
- Salep: warm and cozy drink made from orchids and topped with cinnimon.
souvenirs from Turkey
- hand-made carpets, rugs and kilims
- ceramics and clay pottery
- inlaid woodwork
- Onyx: chess sets, spice bowls, ashtrays decorative bowls, bathroom fixtures, ashtrays and vases
- suede products
- Nargile (water pipe)
- mosaic glass' lamps
- musical instruments
- tee, coffe, spices
- Tukish Delight, sweet, small jelly-like gums with differente flavours
- Nazar Boncugu, the Eye of Allah
Goodbye: Güle güle
How are you?: Nasılsın?
Thank you: Teşekkür ederim
What is your name?: Adın ne?
How much is it?: Ne kadar?