22 November 2017 Wednesday

 
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TIPS & HINTS
      
ARRIVAL TO THE CITY
Most visitors may enter Turkey without a visa, or by easily buying a "sticker visa" at the airport, maritime port, or border-crossing point. You hand the clerk your passport and the fee in CASH, the clerk sticks a stamp in your passport and you're on your way. The clerk doesn't look you up in a database or scan your passport or take your name or anything. The whole thing takes 10 seconds. Basically, the sticker visa fee is just a tourist tax.
Be sure your passport is valid for at least six months from the date you enter Turkey or you may not be admitted. You can obtain your visa in advance, before you arrive in Turkey, from any Turkish consulate, but it entails time, trouble, and extra expense (you'll pay a "visa processing fee.") It's much simpler to just buy your visa at the border.

WORK HOURS
Banks are open weekdays from 8:30 AM until noon or 12:30 PM, depending on the bank, and from 1:30 PM until 5.00 PM. However, there are some banks which continue to serve during lunch breaks. Museums are generally open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 AM until 5.00 PM or 5:30 PM and closed on Monday. Palaces are open the same hours but are closed on Thursday. For specific information on museums, please visit our museums section. Shops and bazaars are normally open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 AM to 1.00 PM and from 2.00 PM to 7.00 PM, and closed all day on Sunday. But most stores in shopping malls and crowded streets are open seven days a week, including lunch breaks. You can find restaurants or cafes open virtually at any time of the day or night.

HOLIDAYS
January 1, 2009 (New Year's Day), April 23, 2009 (National Independence and Children's Day), May 19, 2009 (Ataturk's Memorial, Youth and Sports Day), August 30 (Zafer Bayram or Victory Day), October 29 (Cumhuriyet Bayram or Republic Day, celebrating Ataturk's proclamation of the Turkish republic in 1923), September 20-22, 2009 (Seker Bayram, marking the end of Ramadan), November 27-30(Kurban Bayram, another important religious holiday). Muslim religious holidays are based on the lunar calendar and will shift about 10 days backwards each year.

VISITING THE MOSQUES
Most mosques in Istanbul are open to the public during the day. Prayer sessions, called namaz, last 30 to 40 minutes and are observed five times daily. Tourists should, however, avoid visiting mosques midday on Friday, when Muslims are required to worship. For women, bare arms and legs are not acceptable inside a mosque. Men should avoid wearing shorts as well. Women should not enter a mosque without first covering their heads with a scarf. Before entering a mosque, shoes must be removed.

COMMUNICATION
Post offices are painted bright yellow and have PTT (Post, Telegraph, and Telephone) signs on the front. Making phone calls from counter-top metred phone is economical. If you decide to ship something home, don't close your parcel before it has been inspected by a customs official. Take wrapping and packing materials with you to the post office. Parcels sent by surface mail to Europe cost 25 TL for the first Kg, then 3.50 TL for every extra Kg. Mailing to US and Australia is more expensive. The central Post office is open Monday through Saturday from 8 AM to 9 PM, Sunday from 9 AM to 7PM. Smaller ones are open Monday through Friday between 8:30 AM and 5.00 PM.
The easiest way to send a parcel is by a carier company (DHL, UPS etc.)
UPS Tel. Nr: 444 00 33
DHL Tel. Nr: 0212 478 10 00
The pay phones are in the booths you see on the streets, and they are available at many places such as streets or squares, hospitals and train stations. The call cards used for these phones are sold in Turk Telecom offices and branches, PTT offices and some buffets. The prices of the cards vary depending on the amount of credits in them. Country code for Turkey is (90). If you are in European Istanbul and wish to call a number in Asian Istanbul, you must dial0, followed by 216. If you are in Asian Istanbul and wish to call a number in European Istanbul, you must dial 0, followed by 212.
Mobile reception is very good in Istanbul and locals have embraced the technology whole-heatedly. If you want to use your home phone here you should note that Turkey uses the standard GSM network operating on 900 Mhz or 1800 Mhz. Most mobiles can connect with Turkcell, Vodafone, Avea networks.
In the recent years, the number of cafes and shopping centers with wi fi Internet access has increased dramatically, most of them still being free. Most internet cafes have high speed ADSL connections, and they are very inexpensive compared to Europe (about 0.50-1.50 euros per hour).

BANKING & CURRENCY
There is no limit to the amount of currency (foreign or Turkish) you can bring into Turkey. You can exchange foreign currency you have at banks, or exchange offices at more reasonable prices.There are 24-hour exchange bureaux in the arrivals hall at Ataturk International Airport that offer rates comparable to those offered by bureaux in the city. US Dollars and Euros are easily changed at exchenge-bureaux. They are also often accepted as payment without being changed. As Turkish Liras are fully convertible, there is no black market.
In Istanbul, traveler's checks are rarely accepted. If you have travellers cheques, you will have to change them at a bank or post office. ATMs can be found in even the smallest Turkish towns. Most accept international credit cards or bank cards (a strip of logos is usually displayed above the ATM). Almost all ATMs have a language key to enable you to read the instructions in English.
Most hotels, car rental agencies, shops, pharmacies, venues and restaurants will accept Visa and Mastercard. Amex and other credit cards aren't as widely accepted as the others.
The monetary unit is the Turkish lira (TL), which comes in bank notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200. Smaller denominations come in coins of 5; 10; 25 and 50.

VAT
The value-added tax, here called KDV, is 18%. Hotels typically combine it with a service charge of 10% to 15%, and restaurants usually add a 15% service charge. Value-added tax is nearly always included in quoted prices. Certain shops are authorized to refund the tax (ask).

TIME
Istanbul time is East European Time, two hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time.

ELECTRICITY
The electrical current in Turkey is 220 volts, 50 cycles alternating current (AC); wall outlets take Continental-type plugs, with two or three round prongs.

SAFETY & SECURITY
The streets of Istanbul are considerably safer than their counterparts in the United States or Western Europe. Travelers should nevertheless take care of their valuables, as pickpockets, although not as common as in the U.S. or Europe, do operate in the major cities and tourist areas.

POLICE The Tourism Police that is a unit offering service to tourism sector with its foreign language speaking staff provide the security of tourists visiting Istanbul. Tourism police Tel. (0212) 527 45 03

ISTANBUL IN NUMBERS
Geography
Area: 5.196 square km
Highest hill: 537 meters, Aydos Hill on the Asian side

Demography
Population: 12,697,000 as of December 2008 (10.041.477 in 2000), that is 18% of the total population of Turkey (71,517,100 as of December 2008)
Density: 2.420 person/km2 (26 times of Turkey, which is 92 person per square km)
Population growth rate: 3.3 % yearly
· 35 % lives on the Asian side (Anatolia), 65 % on the European side
· 51 % of the population is men (in Turkey the rate is 49%)
· 62.24 % are born outside of Istanbul

Climate
Average temperature: 13,6 degrees Celsius
Average relative humidity: 79 %
Average sea temperature: 15-16 Celsius

Building
Islamic Mosques: 2.562
Christian Churches: 50
Jewish Synagogues: 16

Traffic
· Motor vehicles: 2.200.580 (1 car for each 5 person)
Roads: 25.000 km
Traffic police: 2.293
Taxis: 17.500
Public buses: 4.923
Suspension Bridges: 2 over the Bosphorus
Airports: 2 international, 1 private, several military.

Education
Literacy rate: 93.39 % (over 6 years of age), it's on top in country's average (87,32 % in Turkey)
Elementary schools: 1.488
High schools: 612
Universities: 23 (29 % of total universities of Turkey are in Istanbul)
· 70% of students are in State universities
· 30% in Private universities

Health
Hospitals: 194 (in 2005), 71% of them (140) are private hospitals
Hospital beds: 33,721 (in 2004)
Doctors: 12.827 (1.617 patients for each doctor)
Pharmacies: 4,494

Culture
Libraries: 72
Cultural centers: 62
Fair/Congress centers: 8
Concerts halls: 28
Theaters: 23
Media: 15 TV stations and 130 radio stations

Tourism
Tourists: 7.049.234 (in 2008), which is 28% of total arrivals in Turkey (approximately 25million tourists for 2008)
Hotels/Motels: 969 (28 five star, 57 four star, 80 three star, 75 two star, 18 one star, 38 special category)
Beds: 86.000
Travel agents: 1.511
Sites: 63 museums, 64 historic mosques, 66 historic medresse, 49 historic churches, 1 historic synagogue, 17 palaces
Tourist entertainment installations: 349

Prices of some basic products and services:

1 Bread (200 g) € 0.16
1 kg meat € 8.00
1 kg potato € 0.22
1 kg tomato € 0.6
1 kg apple € 0.7
1 kg banana € 1.7
1 kg orange € 0.8
1 kg pasta (macaroni) € 0.4
Milk (1lt) € 0.5
Coffee (500 gr) € 4.00
Cheese (1kg) € 6.00
Beer (1 bottle) € 0.6
Dolmus € 1.5
Taxi € 0.78/km
Ferry € 0.5
Sea Bus € 1.7
Subway € 1.2
Inner-city by Bus € 0.6
Inter-city by Bus € 20.00
Inter-city by Plane € 65.00
Cinema ticket € 5.00
Concert ticket € 20.00
Haircut € 5.00
Tip 10% of the bill


 
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editor@nevarneyok.com   ©Copyright 2007 Link Multimedia All Rights Reserved
Cinema Music What's On Art&Culture Gourmet
editor@nevarneyok.com   ©Copyright 1997 Link Multimedia All Rights Reserved