Floating between Europe and Asia

Turkey

Turkey is a country of immense diversity both in human and geographical terms. It is the only country to straddle Europe and Asia, a fact that is reflected in its complex cultural makeup. Asiatic Turkey, or Anatolia, constitutes the bulk of the country. It consists of a vast peninsula framed by four seas, the Black Sea, the Sea of Marmara, the Aegean, and the Mediterranean, each of which has its own distinctive character. There are crowded cosmopolitan cities, such as Istanbul and Izmir, high plateau, forested mountains, and Mediterranean beaches.

Turkey has more Classical ruins than any other country but also boasts some of the world’s finest Islamic art and architecture. Whether your interests or those of your guests extend to exploring archaeological sites, trekking, rafting, nightclubbing, or simply lazing on a beach, Turkey is for you. Turkey is home to cultures of fantastic antiquity and every year archaeologists make astounding new discoveries. Over the centuries, native Anatolian civilizations gave way to Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. The glorious legacy they have left behind is one that still fascinates us today and is the underpinning of Western civilization in disciplines ranging from theater and sculpture to architecture and philosophy.

CLIMATE: varies considerably from region to region. Istanbul has a temperate climate with summer temperatures in the low 80s (26-28 degrees Celsius) and in the mid-40s (4-6 degrees Celsius). The west and south coasts share a typical Mediterranean climate with summer temperatures in the high 80s (26- 28 degrees Celsius) to low 90s (32-34 degrees Celsius) and winter temperatures averaging in the mid- 50s (12-15 degrees Celsius). The high, central plateau is a little cooler, and humidity is low.

TIME ZONE: Turkey doesn’t observe daylight savings anymore. So in winter Turkey is +8 (Eastern Standard Time) and +7 during summer.

VISAS: Are required for US and Canadian citizens. They can be easily purchased on arrival. Turkey also has an e-visa system though with which visas are purchased prior to arrival.

VACCINATIONS: No special vaccinations are necessary.

CURRENCY: Is the New Turkish lira (YTL). Recently reformed and stabilized, it is fully convertible and can be obtained on arrival.

WEIGHTS & MEASURES: Turkey uses the metric system

LANGUAGE: is not a problem, since most of the people you are likely to encounter will speak English and or German. Turkish is written in the Latin alphabet.

ELECTRICITY: Electric power is 220 volt, 50 cycles, but most four and five-star hotel rooms have at least one 110-volt socket.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICE: Cellular communications in Turkey operate on the European bands (900 MHz as well as 1800 MHz). International calls can be placed easily from any fixed-line phone. The international prefix is 00. For example, to call the US, dial 00 1 plus the relevant American area code and number. To call the IE, dial 00 353. Pre-paid cellular phones are widely available and the majority of international cellular phone operators offer roaming. For cellular phones, both data and voice service are available and Internet connections are available at most hotels. Postal service is widely available, inexpensive, and reliable, but delivery can be slow. The major air express companies including DHL, UPS, and FedEx serve Turkey.

FOOD: is mostly excellent combining elements of Mediterranean & Near-Eastern cuisine. Vegetarian dishes are readily available.

DRESS: it is advised to dress modestly when visiting religious sites

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