DRIVING IN TURKIYE
Favorite thing: You can drive in Turkey with EU, US or International driving licence. You should have your driving licence, your passport and insurance documents of the vehicle with you in the car at all times, as you will need it if you are involved in an accident. All of the major international car rental companies, as well as a number of local ones, have offices at airports and all major centres. You can drive in Turkey with EU, US or International driving licence. You should have your driving licence, your passport and insurance documents of the vehicle with you in the car at all times, as you will need it if you are involved in an accident. All of the major international car rental companies, as well as a number of local ones, have offices at airports and all major centres. Driving in Turkey is on the right, as in continental Europe. Turkish road signs conform to the International Protocol on Road Signs and archaeological and historic sites are indicated by brown signs. Turkey has a good network of well-maintained roads. There is a 50 km per hour speed limit within urban centres (meskun mahal) and 90 km outside urban centres (120 km on Motorways). Petrol stations are fairly easy to find and on main highways, they are often open 24hrs and have restaurants and other facilities attached. Unleaded (kurşunsuz) petrol is easily available. Garages for repairs are often concentrated on certain streets within a town (sanayi) or can be found on highways.If you are planning on driving to Turkey, as well as your passport, you will need to take your international driving licence, car registration documents and international green card (insurance card) with the TR sign clearly visible (NB: This can be purchased on arrival at the border). You can bring your own car into the country for up to six months. If you wish to keep you car in Turkey for more than six months, you are liable to pay import tax.
Requirements for travel to Turkey
Favorite thing: In addition to having a valid passport, US visitors must obtain a visa for travel to Turkey. Unlike some of the ones you must get in advance, you can purchase the visa upon arrival to Turkey, currently it is $20 and you can use US currency. The visa is valid for 90 days.It's always advisable to check on the Embassy Website in case visa requirements change.
US citizens can apply for an e-visa in advance, according to the website the primary advantage is saving time in the queue upon arrival. The disadvantage is that if you change your travel plans and arrive earlier than anticipated or if you cancel your trip, you are out $20 x the number of travelers. If you arrive earlier than expected, you have to pay for another visa. Here's the website for the e-visa.
Something I saw mentioned in a post, if you get the e-visa, you don't get the visa stamp in your passport (it used to look like a postage stamp, not sure anymore). So you must carry the e-visa printout every time you fly in Turkey.
A little conversation...
Fondest memory: I was surprised at the warmth and friendliness of the people. They would ask where I was from, and were astonished at the fact that I was traveling alone, without my husband. Some waiters/owners in the cafes, would ask if they could sit with me and keep me company, as I ate lunch. I found them to be very respectful towards women, at least, those women that were respectful of themselves!
UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE -HATTUSA
Favorite thing: Hattusa The Capital City of Hittites
The archaeological site of Hattusha, former capital of the Hittite Empire, is notable for its urban organization, the types of construction that have been preserved (temples, royal residences, fortifications), the rich ornamentation of the Lions' Gate and the Royal Gate, and the ensemble of rock art at Yazilikaya. The city enjoyed considerable influence in Anatolia and northern Syria in the 2nd millennium B.C.
History of Hattusa
Hattusha exerted dominating influence upon the civilizations of the 2nd and 1st millennia BC in Anatolia and northern Syria. The palaces, temples, trading quarters and necropolis of this political and religious metropolis provide a comprehensive picture of a capital and bear a unique testimony to the disappeared Hittite civilization. The city's fortifications, along with the Lion Gate and the Royal Gate and the Yazılıkaya rupestral ensemble with its sculptured friezes, represent unique artistic achievements as monuments.
The ruins of ancient Hattusha, the modern village of Bogâzkale and the great capital of the Hittite empire, are framed by the grandiose backdrop of the high Anatolian plains 200 km to the east of Ankara. The site was partially occupied at the end of the 3rd millennium by a pre-Hittite population which, as was also the case in other regions, permitted Assyrian traders to settle there. From a number of epigraphic documents we learn that the city was then called Hattus (Hattush) and that it was destroyed around 1720 by Anitta, a Hittite sovereign. The vicissitudes of a complex history rich in events did not spare Hattusha from the 18th to 12th centuries and are borne witness to by monumental vestiges of the built-up and rupestral ensembles.
The site, discovered in 1834, was not comprehensively excavated until 1906, which was the memorable date of the discovery of a copy of a peace treaty between Hattushili III and the Pharaoh Ramses II, which made possible the identification of Hattusha. Since then, joint efforts on the part of German and Turkish archaeologists have made decisive progress in knowledge of the Hittite capital. The exploration of Hattusha should serve as a model of long-term archaeological research planning and has given rise to a host of publications and to a specialized periodical issued by the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut.
At its largest, the city spread over a sloping, uneven plateau, covering 2.1 km from north to south and 1.3 km from east to west. In the 13th century, the city was surrounded by a system of double walls forming a perimeter of roughly 8 km. It was protected at the east end by the Kayalı Boğäz outpost, 1.5 km from the Royal Gate. To the north, beyond the walls, were located a necropolis cut into the rock at Osmankayası and the great rupestral sanctuary of Yazılıkaya, whose walls decorated with bas-reliefs are the undisputed masterpiece of Hittite art.
Fondest memory: Inside the walls whose most impressive remains lie to the south and the east and comprise primitive Hittite fortifications, with underground passageways, the city is built on two levels. To the northwest, not far from the present-day village of Bogâzkale, which occupies part of the site, is the lower town. The most remarkable monument is the great temple, dedicated to the god of storms and the goddess of the Sun, Arinna, and surrounded by an array of buildings including stores. Thousands of cuneiform tablets were found in this area. Slightly to the north of the temple is the Assyrian settlement's karum with its houses built around a central courtyard. Part of it dates back to the pre-Hittite period. To the south is located the upper city, a complex layout. The most important element is the royal residence of Büyükkale, a veritable palace-citadel perched upon the main peak.
It is on other fortified peaks the area between the Lions' Gate to the west and the Royal Gate to the east (the only well-preserved vestiges of the five original monumental entrances) that the best preserved stretches of the double wall are to be found. This wall protected Hattusha, its residential quarters, its palaces and four temples.
UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE -DIVRIGI
Favorite thing: Lİttle Brief About Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği
This region of Anatolia was conquered by the Turks at the beginning of the 11th century. In 1228–29 Emir Ahmet Shah founded a mosque, with its adjoining hospital, at Divrigi. The mosque has a single prayer room and is crowned by two cupolas. The highly sophisticated technique of vault construction, and a creative, exuberant type of decorative sculpture – particularly on the three doorways, in contrast to the unadorned walls of the interior – are the unique features of this masterpiece of Islamic architecture.
History of Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği
The Divriği mosque is an outstanding example of Selçuk mosques in Anatolia, having neither a courtyard, colonnades, nor an uncovered ablutions basin, but which (owing perhaps to the harshness of the climate) organizes all religious functions in an enclosed area. A charitable foundation, the contiguous hospital makes an already exceptional ensemble even more interesting thanks to a princely command.
Far away from the major communication links at the south-east of Sivas province in eastern Anatolia, the mountainous region of Divriği (Tephrike in the Byzantine Empire) was a 12th-century refuge for the Paulician Christian sect which was persecuted by Basil I and then by John Tzimisces, who exiled their survivors to Thrace. From there the heresy gradually moved westward, gaining followers of varying degrees of loyalty such as the Bogarmils or Cathars.
Fondest memory: After 1071, Divriği fell to the Turks. In 1118 the city was given to Mengücek Bey and the dynasty of the Mengücekids governed the province virtually without interruption until the Mongol occupation in 1277.
The rectangular ensemble of buildings, which occupies the south-west slope of the hill from which Divriği Castle rises, dates back to this first Turkish period. There is a mosque which was founded in 1228-29 by the Mengücekid emir, Ahmet Shah, and amarestan (hospital for the insane) endowed by his wife, Malikaturan Malik. These two complementary monuments were built simultaneously by the same architect, Khurramshad of Ahlat.
The sole prayer room in the great mosque has five aisles, each consisting of five bays. It has stone vaulting and above are two cupolas of unequal size. One is above the ablutions basin and the other is above the mihrab (prayer niche). The second cupola is the principal one, recognizable from the exterior by its hexagonal spire.
From the outside, the Divriği ensemble provides a gripping contrast between the low, blind walls of its rectangular enclosure and the three immense gates which afford access to the hospital at the west and to the mosque at the north and west. These three high, recessed gates with their exuberant decor which is both floral and geometric have been the subject of the most paradoxical of comparisons with Khmer and Gothic monuments. As was the case with the vaulting in the mosque and the hospital, the architect most likely drew his inspiration from contemporary Armenian or Georgian motifs, transposing them in an ingenious fashion.
There is a fourth and more recent opening at the east side which can probably be traced back to 1241.
UNESCO World Heritage List
Favorite thing: Humanity has added new value to the places it has lived upon, and left behind masterpieces that carry Its culture to ensuing generations. To affirm the values accepted as the common heritage of all humanity, and to promote them and to transfer them to future generations, UNESCO adopted, "The Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage" in its General Conference held in Paris in 1972. Turkey ratified the Convention on 23 May 1982.
The World Heritage List Is a list of global sites of cultural and natural heritage considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. UNESCO, which alms to ensure International cooperation In protecting the values that form the common heritage of humanity, takes Into consideration unique values with respect to cultural and natural criteria.
At the end of 2011, there were 936 cultural and natural heritage sites from all around the world inscribed in the World Heritage List. These Include 725 cultural/natural sites, 183 natural sites and also 28 mixed (cultural/natural) sites.
Turkey has 11 properties Inscribed In the UNESCO World Heritage List, and 37 nominated properties are in the Tentative List. This publication is prepared by the Directorate General for Promotion of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. It aims to promote the sites Inscribed In the UNESCO World Heritage List, and raise awareness in transferring Turkey's cultural heritage to future generations.
Turkey in World Heritage
Favorite thing: Public Holidays
There are two types of public holiday in Turkey: those which are decided by the government and which fall on the same day each year; and the religious festivals which change according to the lunar calendar and, therefore, fall on different dates each year.On public holidays, banks and government offices are closed. In general, life in seaside resorts is not affected as these are the times when Turkish people also go on holiday. Shops and businesses away from tourist areas may close, however, so you should bear this in mind when travelling inland or to city areas.
New Years Day, 1 January
National Sovereignty and Children's Day, 23 April
Ataturk Commemoration and Youth Sports Day, 19 May
Victory Day, 30 August
Republic Day, 28 (half day) 29 October
Şeker Bayramı (Eid)This is the festival which falls at the end of Ramazan, a period of fasting. Traditionally, sweets are exchanged as gifts. In more rural and conservative areas, you may find it more difficult to eat or drink in public during Ramazan period.
Kurban Bayramı (Great Eid) Traditionally, a sheep or cow is sacrificed at this time and the meat distributed to the needy and friends, family and neighbours.
Favorite thing: The major GSM operators in Turkey are Turkcell, Vodafone and Avea. You can use your mobile phone in Turkey if your provider has enabled international roaming. However if you intend to stay for a long time in the country or make several calls, it may be preferable to buy a local prepaid SIM card. Take your mobile phone and passport to a Turkish mobile phone shop where your new SIM will be registered along with your handset's IMEI number and your personal information. (Unregistered phones will be blocked and unable to receive or make calls.) Turkey has very wide mobile coverage networks so you shouldn't have any problems in the main cities and tourist resorts.
Favorite thing: Please note that the following information is intended to give an idea about customs regulations, and our portal does not accept any responsibility for inaccuracy or mis-information. For further and accurate information please visit: www.turkish-consulate.org.uk and www.gumruk.gov.tr.
It is permitted to bring the following items into Turkey as duty free goods:
Wines, Tobacco & Other Luxury Items
EU Regulations applied.
In order to avoid any problems when leaving the country it is recommended that you register valuable items with the customs office on entry to Turkey. All personal belongings and articles made of precious stones or metals (with no commercial purposes) worth under US$ 15,000 may be brought into and taken out of the country. Jewellery worth more than this amount may only be taken out of the country providing it has been registered on entry or that you can prove that it was purchased in Turkey with legally exchanged currency.
Two partitioned camping tent; one diving suit for underwater diving sports (The quality and efficiency of the suit to be determined by the undersecretary.); glider (a pair); one boat; one surfboard with sailing equipment for water sports; flippers (one pair); other personal belongings one apiece (except for sea motorcycle and sledge); chess set; Draughts set; five packs of playing cards.
Beds belonging to a patient; motorised and non-motorised wheelchair; drugs for personal treatment; gas mask and similar protective clothing (maximum 2 pieces).
For valuable gifts and souvenirs, such as a carpet, proof of purchase is necessary, together with receipts showing that any currency used in its purchase has been legally exchanged.
Please note that it is strictly forbidden to export antiques from Turkey. Minerals can only be exported with a special document.
There is no limit to the amount of foreign and Turkish currency to be brought into Turkey. Up to US$ 5,000 worth of Turkish or foreign currency can be taken out of the country, providing that it can be shown that the currency has been obtained from authorised banks. Larger amount of foreign or Turkish currency must be transferred abroad through banks. Cash brought into the country to be exchanged for export out of Turkey must be declared on entry.
Favorite thing: You will need to pay for any medical treatment which you receive in Turkey. For this reason it is advisable to take out medical insurance before travelling. It is not difficult to find English-speaking doctors in all but the most remote areas. There are also foreign run hospitals in many of the larger towns and resorts. There are pharmacies in most places with trained pharmacists who are able to offer advice on minor illnesses. For further information please visit: www.healthinturkey.org
Favorite thing: You can drive in Turkey with EU, US or International driving licence. You should have your driving licence, your passport and insurance documents of the vehicle with you in the car at all times, as you will need it if you are involved in an accident. All of the major international car rental companies, as well as a number of local ones, have offices at airports and all major centres.
Driving in Turkey is on the right, as in continental Europe. Turkish road signs conform to the International Protocol on Road Signs and archaeological and historic sites are indi¬cated by yellow signs. Turkey has a good network of well-maintained roads. There is a 50 km per hour speed limit within urban centres and 90 km outside urban centres (120 km on Motorways). Petrol stations are fairly easy to find and on main highways, they are often open 24hrs and have restaurants and other facilities attached. Unleaded (kurşunsuz) petrol is easily available. Garages for repairs are often concentrated on certain streets within a town or can be found on highways.
If you are planning on driving to Turkey, as well as your passport, you will need to take your international driving licence, car registration documents and international green card (insurance card) with the TR sign clearly visible (NB: This can be purchased on arrival at the border). You can bring your own car into the country for up to six months. If you wish to keep you car in Turkey for more than six months, you are liable to pay import tax.
Favorite thing: Turkish Lira is available in the following denominations:
Banknotes: 5, 10, 20, 50,100 and 200 TL Coins: 5, 10, 25 & 50 Kuruş and 1 TL
You can obtain currency before travelling to Turkey or on arrival. Exchange rates are usually slightly better in Turkey and all international airports have exchange facilities. Usually, cash can be exchanged without charging commission in exchange offices, banks or hotels. Please note that Scottish notes are not accepted in Turkey. Travellers' cheques can be exchanged in banks only. Cash point machines (ATM) are available in most areas, which accept major UK credit and debit cards and give instructions in English. It may be a good idea to inform your bank in advance that you are travelling to Turkiye as some will automatically put a stop on cards after the first usage in an attempt to combat fraud. Exchange rates are published daily in Turkish newspapers. If you are planning to exchange currency back from TL before leaving the country, or are making a major purchase, which may need to be declared to customs, you will need to keep your transaction receipts in order to show that the currency has been legally exchanged.
Favorite thing: Pot Roast
1 kg leg of lamb, cut into small pieces
2-3 onions, chopped
2 tomatoes, peeled and cut small
3-4 potatoes, cubed
2-3 T butter
1 T tomato paste
1-2 T chopped parsley
Put meat, onion and butter into a pan, and sauté stirring until the meat’s juices have evaporated. Add the tomato paste and stir a few times more. Add the tomatoes, and add enough water just to cover meat and allow to simmer. Meanwhile fry the potatoes lightly, and about 15 minutes before the meat is fully tender, add the potatoes. Remove from heat, add the parsley and serve
Favorite thing: Sqeuzed
2 c fine bulgur
1 small onion, grated
2 “sivri” peppers, or 1 small bell pepper, minced
1/2 t salt
1 ½ T butter
5 “sivri” peppers or 1 ½ bell peppers, chopped finely
4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 large onions
¼ bunch parsley
1 t salt
Make a dough of the first four ingredients and enough water to hold the bulgur together, and knead well. Make balls slightly smaller than hazelnuts and boil like pasta, drain, leaving a little water in the pan. In another pan, sauté chopped peppers and onion in butter. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring for a few minutes. Add salt. Add this mixture to the köfte and boil, add the parsley, stir and serve.
Favorite thing: Red Lentil Köfte
2 c red lentils
1 c fine bugur
4 c water
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 t salt
2 t red flake pepper
2 t cumin
1 t black pepper
1 T pepper paste
5-6 scallions, chopped
½ bunch parsley, chopped
¼ c olive oil
Rinse lentils and simmer in 4 c water till very soft, stirring frequently towards the end to prevent sticking. Remove from heat and add bulgur, cover and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Sauté onion in a little vegetable oil, add pepper paste and allow to cool, then add to the lentil-bulgur mixture, along with all the rest of the ingredients. Knead together and form into oblong köfte by squeezing with the fingers of one hand. If desired 1T pomegranate molasses may be added. Serve with wedges of lemon, as is or accompanied by romaine lettuce leaves, roll the köfte in the lettuce.
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