Geography

Turkey's land mass is 774.815 sq km. Anatolia is a high plateau region rising progressively towards the East, and is broken by the valleys of about fifteen rivers. There are numerous lakes; and the greatest lake Van is larger than some inland seas. In the North, the Eastern Black Sea Mountain chain runs parallel to the Black Sea; in the South, The Taurus Mountains sweep down almost to the narrow, fertile coastal plain along the sae coast.

The coastline of Turkey's four seas is over 8333 km. long.

Government & Policies

The Turkish Republic is based on a secular parliamentary system.

Economy

Agriculture plays an important role in Turkish economy. Turkey is the one of the most important food exporters in the world. The main crops are wheat, rice, cotton, tea, tobacco, hazelnuts and fruits. Sheeps are Turkey's most important live-stock, Turkey is one of the greatest wool and cotton producers in Europe.

Industial goods have also come to play an important role in the economy bringing the economic growth to a higher ratio, from white goods to cars.

Turkey has become a major touristic destination in Europe. With the rapid development of summer & winter tourism facilities, people from all over the world are able to enjoy the cultural, historical and natural sites of Turkey.

 
Education

8 years of primary and middle school is compulsory for children. After the middle school, secondary, high schools, private colleges and universities are available.

Language

Turkey has been using the Latin alphabet from 1928. Here is a guide for small conversations:

Word

Number

English

Turkey

Yes Evet
No Hayir
Please Lutfen
Hello Merhaba
Thanks Sagol
Pardon Pardon
Good morning Gunaydin
Good evening Iyi aksamlar
Good night Iyi geceler
Hospital Hastane
Airport Hava alani
Restaurant Lokanta
Water Su
Wine Sarap
Breakfast Kahvalti
Coffee Kahve
Tea Cay
Sugar Seker
Hotel Otel
Room Oda
What is your name ? Adin ne ?
My name is Benim adim..
How are you ? Nasilsiniz ?
What's up ? Naber?(slang)
Where is ... ...Nerede ?
What does it cost ? Kac para ?

English

Turkey

0 sifir
1 bir
2 iki
3 uc
4 dort
5 bes
6 alti
7 yedi
8 sekiz
9 dokuz
10 on
20 yirmi
30 otuz
40 kirk
50 elli
60 altmis
70 yetmis
80 seksen
90 doksan
100 yuz
1000 bin
1000000 bir milyon
Money

The national monetary unit is Turkish Lira (TL). Inflation is still an important problem for Turkish people. Prices moved upward in terms of stable foreign exchange like Euros and USD in recent years. Exchange rates for foreign currencies are published here.

Tipping

In cheap restaurants, hotels, tipping may not be necessary. In expensive restaurants, hotels and in hairdressers, tipping is customary.

 
Radio & TV

There are hundreds of local and national private TV and radio channels in Turkey as well as a government-dependent channel: TRT. On TRT, short news are given in English, German and French in the evenings.

There are also international TV channels available like CNN, NBC-Europe, BBC, Eurosport.

Electricity

Electricity is supplied at 220 volts. Plugs have two round prongs.

Water

Bottled water is suggested. Tap water has no guarantee to be clean enough. Or it may not be tasty since in most places it is very chlorinated.

Doctors & Dentists

Doctors and dentists can be found in Turkish major hospitals and clinics, in addition, there are certain foreign-operated hospitals in Istanbul and other big cities.

Modern health care at international standarts can be found in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya and some resort towns .

 
Business Hours

Government offices open at 8:30, close at 17:30. (12:30-13:30 noon break)

Shops are open between 9:00-19:00.(13:00-14:00 noon break)

Official Holidays

Jan 1= New Year's Day.

Apr 23 = National Independence and Children's Day.

May 19 = Ataturk Commemoration and Youth and Sports Day.

Aug 30 = Victory Date.

Oct 29 = Republic Day.

Religious festivals such as Ramazan and Kurban Bayrami are also official holidays. Since these festivals are according to Hicri calender, their dates change every year.

Festivals - Fairs - Events

JAN: Camel Wrestling Festival - SELCUK

APRIL: Istanbul International Film Festival - ISTANBUL

APRIL: Traditional 'Mesir' Festival - MANISA

APRIL: International Children's Day - ANKARA

APRIL - MAY: Ephesus International Festival of Culture and Tourism - SELCUK

MAY: Yunus Emre Culture and Art Week - ESKISEHIR

MAY: International Kilim - Carpet Festival - USAK

JUNE: Cesme Sea and Music Festival - CESME

JUNE- JULY: Traditional Kirkpinar Wrestling - EDIRNE

JULY: Ceramic Festival - KUTAHYA

AUG: Troy Festival - CANAKKALE

AUG-SEP: Izmir International Festival - IZMIR

SEP: The Golden Orange Film & Art Festival - ANTALYA

NOV: International Yacht Race - MARMARIS

DEC: Mevlana Commemoration Festival - KONYA

For events in Istanbul please see Events in Istanbul
Things to Buy

Turkish Carpets - Carpet weaving is traditional in Turkey. Turkish Carpets are famous for their beauty and durability. That's because they are the most important shopping products for foreign people. Also carpets from other countries such as Iran, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan are widespread at the shops.

Ceramics - Ceramics made in Kutahya and Iznik are unique and well-known. There are also handmade tiles, plates, cups, bowls which are very decorative and interest taking.

Copper Vessels - They are one of the most purchased antique-like decorative goods by foreigners. Being a coppersmith was traditional in Ottoman Empire.

Jewellry - Gold and silver are well found.

Leather - It is a big industry in Turkey. You can find many Leather shoes, bags, cushions, jackets, hats, trousers are attractive.

Meerschaum - It is a hydrous magnesium silicate-a clay-like material which is carved into a pipe. It is a unique material found in Eskisehir. The beautiful pipes carved out of this stone are recommended highly for usage and decorative purchases.