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The traffic in Istanbul is quite heavy. You would do well to avoid taxis and use the tramway or walk, especially in the Sultanahmet area. Not only are the places situation nearby, it is interesting to walk around. The places such as the Topkapi palace, Blue Mosque, Agia Sophia,Hippodrome, Grand Bazaar -- can all be covered by foot.
Driving is horrible
Not so good, but also exotic feeling I got after learning some drivers’ behavior lessons. At first, if a car moves, doesn’t matter, it is fast or slow, it is necessary or not, it is always peeping. As local friend told me, it is just a warning to go away. In some situations it looked like cars don’t have breaks, just move into you. Even if it is crosswalk, you have to look a few times to walk, some cars are peeping you to move faster from street area or even crosswalk.
Riding the Istanbul highways is an unique experience.
First of all remember that some locals have to make money and do everything to maintain a high speed and take priority.
Secondly others will drive at a relaxed speed to keep their vehicles together and reduce the use of gas.
Than there are buses and taxi's all over the place end there is the repeating chaos at toll ports plaza's.
My advice: Have enough gas in your tank, a toll port card that is validated and just go with the flow and enjoy.
There are fixed traffic jams, but the advantage there is that you can buy bread and drinks on the highway in your own lane.
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One category drivers on the Istanbul roads is special: Bikers.
Be aware bikers will ride at the ultimate right or left of the road and sometimes go in between the lanes at traffic jams.
... and don't be surprised to see cyclists using the highways too.
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traffic likes a natural disaster at the beginning and close of business..so dont try to go bebek from taksim at 6p.m. cause you cant reach the destination for hours..(for example i want to die when i have to go to the other side of city at the cursed hours:)) so time wasting is inevitable if wrong hours are chosen..
you can take tram or subway if the line is available, and must try sea route if u change the continent:)
it is good if you take it easy when you walk and when you are a pedestrian in Istanbul. All drivers dont stop for even if the sign says they must, so be careful. And if you drive your own car, just take it easy!!!!
most important points for drivers
I would like to write a list of most important things to check when driving in Istanbul.
1. Do not drive! Yes.. Do not drive unless you are experienced at drivining in Istanbul or similar places..If you desperately need to drive, please check the following
2. almost no one uses signals. so, be prepared to see drivers changing lanes frequently to get one car further.
3. do not expect cars to signal before leaving parking place.
4. when driving on the rightmost lane, continue checking your right mirror. emergency lanes are also frequently used by fast drivers.
5. buses, taxis, and minibuses are also have no sense of traffic rules. they are usually good in driving skills but do not obey rules also
6. do not cross at red light, never
7. when crossing in green light, check the road. A driver may dive in to the road.
8. do not argue with anyone, even if you are right. many people are beaten and killed in Istanbul due to this.
9. if you have accident, try to find someone who knows your language. Police will likely to report you as the guilty since you are foreigner
10. many police officers accept bribes. The exception may be sahins (hawks)..They have bikes and back of their jackets are partly yellow-white. bribe can be given in passport, licence or something like that but not openly.
11. If a police officers wants to fine you, he will eventually find something missing in your car, or against rules..In the worst case, you can be accused for something you do not do if you do not have a witness.
12. since walkways are limited, pedestrians tend to walk in roads. They can even try to cross highways so be very careful.
13. it is often to see a driver coming in the reverse direction on a one way road. Do not expect him to go back, he will not do but this will upset. Let him pass, pull over if it is needed.
14. Horns and flashes are mainly used to swear, not to warn. So be selective when using it..
15. bikes and bicycles are disrespected and sometimes hated. Be extra careful when using. Perverts who drive towards a biker are not seldom
16. Expect the unexpected. They can do happen.
If you drive
If you drive in Turkey, know that they are not the safest drivers in the world. You hear about many places with bad driving, but Turkey is, in my mind and having driven in many of those places, one of the worst.
Especially in Istanbul there's naturally a lot of traffic. And maybe the driving is more impatient than anything else. Be prepared for those behind you to lay on the horn before the light turns green. Keep an eye out all around and keep up.
Once you get a bit used to it, it isn't so bad. If you can go with the flow, you'll be fine.
Bigger has the right of way. We lost a side mirror to a roadsign learning that lesson. Fortunately I could speak enough Turkish to get a new mirror installed before we returned the car.
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Roundabouts - anything can happen
Opinion seems to be divided amongst Turkish drivers as to how roundabouts should be treated, so beware and expect either approach. Many seem to favour the old French rule whereby those on the roundabout stop and allow those coming onto it to have right of way. This, of course, rather negates the point of the roundabout. I am reliably informed (a view provided to a colleague by the head of the Trafic Polis, no less) that they SHOULD be approached as we do in NW Europe - ie, those approaching the roundabout give way to those on it. This of course does not necessarily help if the Istanbul driver in question has not had the same message! So, be careful.
Also, it is worth noting that something that LOOKS like a roundabout is not necessarily a round about. Either way, the mantra when driving in Istanbul must be "anything can happen".
NOT for the faint-hearted
I have lived in Istanbul for over 18 months and I have to say, Istanbul drivers have no respect for other road users, so be most careful as a pedestrian. They think nothing of jumping lights, using cell phones while driving, having children balanced in their laps while driving(!) - I even saw a guy letting his kid drive while sitting on his lap!
The easiest way I find to drive is to get over to the left hand lane as soon as possible (as bad as that might be considered in the UK); that way, you only have to worry about vehicles 'squeezing' you from the right! You should also be well away from the right hand lane where the buses and dolmuses (small mini-bus type buses) lurk; they think they own the roads. Most drivers will not allow you to join their lane and you have to be quite aggressive to nudge in. If there is a blockage in one lane, the drivers will automatically move over to get round it (unlike most European cities where they will slow down/stop and wait until it is safe to pull around the obstruction.) The 'Turkish squeeze' will happily push you into another lane or into the central reservation unless you make judicious use of the horn. Watch also for the 'Turkey Roll' whereby they will roll back on a hill when setting off; it can come as a shock.
Overall, be very careful; stay alert because even when you think you've seen it all, someone will pull a new trick (wrong way round a roundabout because it's quicker, for example). Drivers are not good drivers, though they seem to think they have some sort of genetic aptitude and the roads are not in good condition.
Driving in Istanbul is NOT for the faint-hearted!
I don't even know where to begin when talking about the traffic conditions of Istanbul. At times, it is downright chaotic, other times, it is at a standstill. Cars whizzing in and out, dodging other cars and pedestrians, creating their own lanes, it's crazy! If you are driving yourself, good luck! If you are riding in a taxi, hold on and pray! And if you are walking around near a high-traffic area, watch out! There are just so many cars in this city, and not nearly enough street capacity to hold them all. I would definately suggest riding the trains and trams whenever possible. In many cases it is faster, and usually cheaper. Even walking is frequently faster here. But if you are driving or taking a taxi during the day, especially in the morning or late afternoon, make sure you leave plenty of time for traffic delays. I have personally sat in traffic for almost 2 hours in a drive from Sultanahmet to Besiktas, a drive that would ordinarily take 10 minutes. Good luck! :)
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Safe drive in taxi
I've been in Beijing after Istanbul and belive me, drivers in Istanbul are pretty ok.
Taxi drivers are safe, they won't drink while working, even if you think that they drive crazy, they know what they are doing. When you take a taxi in Istanbul for the first time, seat in the back, couse first drive can be wierd. I've never seen car crash on Istanbul streets.
And it's really cheap.
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SIRASELVILER IN NIGHT
Like many other streets around TAKSiM, there is also a traffic jam in Siraselviler Street.
This photo is taken at 04:30 am in Sunday morning. Seems as if it islike in the evening at rush hour, isnt it?
Take into consideration that a car trip can take up to 2 hours (normally) to go from one site to another within Istanbul (specially from the Asian side to the European side and between 8:30 am to 10 am and 5:30 pm until 7:30 pm).
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Road traffic in Istanbul
The road traffic jams in Istanbul are really terrific - only a few miles will take the bus/taksi sometimes hours.Comparable with Bangkok or even Brussels
Honda and it's security patroll might be a little help.
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