Turkey

Dial 112 from any telephone, anywhere, free of charge for an ambulance.

Food safety - Food is generally free of parasitic or bacterial contamination, but be prudent anyway. Look at where local people are preferring to eat. Do not eat stuff that is sold outdoors, at least in summer and at least which local folk don’t eat. They can spoil fairly quickly without needed refrigeration. Wash thoroughly and/or peel fresh fruits and vegetables. They may be free of biological contaminants but their skin is probably heavily loaded with pesticides unless you see the not-very-common certified organic produce marker on, of course. Food in western regions of the country is OK for western travellers for the most part, but the more east, south, and northeast you go, the more unaccustomed contents in the food you’ll come across, like goat or goose meat or hot/heavy spices. These contents may or may not cause diarrhea, but it is wise to have at least some anti-diarrhea medicine nearby, especially if you are going to travel to places a bit off-beaten-track.

Water safety - However tempting it may be on a hot day, try to avoid water from public water tanks and fountains şadırvan, frequently found in the vicinity of mosques. Also, though tap water is always chlorinated, it is better to drink only bottled water. Bottled water is readily available everywhere except the most remote, uninhabited spots.

The most common volumes for bottled water are 0.5 litre and 1.5 litre. 5 lt, 8 lt, 10 lt, and gigantic 19 lt bottles known as office jar in the West, this is the most common variety used in households, delivered to houses by the employees of specialized water selling shops, because it is far too heavy to carry can also be found with varying degrees of possibility. General price for half-a-litre and one-and-a-half-litre bottled water is YTL 0.50 and YTL 1.25 respectively in kiosks/stalls in the central parts of the cities and towns can be much higher in a touristy or monopolistic place such as beach, airport, café of a much-visited museum, kiosk of a roadside recreation facility, while it can be as cheap as YTL 0.15 and YTL 0.35 respectively in supermarkets during winter when the number of bottled water sales drop and a little higher in summer still cheaper than kiosks, though. Water is served free of charge in intercity buses, packaged in 0.25 lt plastic cups, whenever you request from the steward. In kiosks, water is sold chilled universally, sometimes so cold that you have to wait the ice to thaw to be able to drink it. Supermarkets provide it both reasonably chilled and also at room temperature.

If you have no chance of finding bottled water –for example, in wilderness, up in the eastern highlands- always boil your water; if you have no chance of boiling the water, use chlorine tablets –which can be provided from pharmacies in big cities-, or devices like LifeStraw. Also avoid swimming in fresh water, which you are not sure about its purity, and at seawater in or near the big cities –unless a beach which is declared safe to swim exists. And lastly, be cautious about water, not paranoid.

Hospitals – In Turkey, there are two kinds of hospitals hastane-private and public. Private hospitals are run by associations, private parties, and private universities. Public hospitals are run by the Ministry of Health, public universities, and state-run social security institutions. All mid-to-big size cities, as well as major resort towns, have private hospitals, more than one in many cities, but in a small town all you can find will probably be a public hospital. Be aware that public hospitals are generally crowded. So expect to wait some time to be treated. But for emergency situations this won't be a problem. Although this is not legal, you may also be denied entry to the public hospitals for expensive operations if you don’t have a state-run national Turkish insurance or a necessary amount of cash for prepayment which replaces it, though showing a respected credit card may solve this problem. Emergency situations are exception and you'll be treated without prepayment etc. A travel health insurance is highly recommended because the better private hospitals operate with the “user-pays” principle and their rates are much inflated compared with the public hospitals. Also make sure your insurance includes air transport like a helicopter if you are going to visit rural/wilderness areas of Black Sea or Eastern regions, so you can be dispatched to a city with high-standard hospitals on time. In the outlying hoods of cities, there are usually also policlinics which can treat simpler illnesses or injuries. In the villages all you can find are little clinics sağlık ocağı, literally “health-house” which have a very limited supply and staff, though they can effectively treat simple illnesses or provide antibody against, for example, snake bite. On road signage, hospitals and roads leading to hospitals are shown with an “H” over the dark blue background, whereas village clinics are shown with a red crescent sign, Turkish equivalent of red cross.

There is an emergency ward acil servis open 24 hours a day in every hospital. Suburban policlinics don’t have to provide one, but some of them are open 24-hr anyway. Village clinics do certainly have a much limited opening hours generally 8 am to sunset.

Dentists – There are lots of private dentist offices in the cities, especially along the main streets. Look for the diş hekimi signs around, it won’t take long before you see one. Most dentists work on an appointment, although they may check or start the treatment on your turning up without an appointment if their schedule is okay. A simple treatment for a tooth decay costs about 40 YTL on the average.

Ordinary toothbrushes and pastes both local and international brands can be obtained from supermarkets. If you want something special, you may check out pharmacies. It is okay to brush teeth with tap water.

Pharmacies - There are pharmacies eczane in Turkish in all cities and many towns. Pharmacies are open from 8:30AM until 7PM, however every town has at least one drugstore on duty overnight nöbetçi eczane, all other pharmacies in the town usually display its name, address and telephone numbers on their windows. Most basic drugs, including painkillers such as Aspirin, are sold over the counter, although only in pharmacies.

Mosquitoes - Keeping a mosquito repellent handy is a good idea. Although the risk of malaria anywhere in the country is long gone except the southernmost areas near the Syrian border which used to have a very low level of risk until up to 1980s, mosquitoes can be annoying especially in coastal areas out of cities, including vacation towns at nights between June and September. In some towns, especially the ones near the deltas, mosquito population is so large that people desert the streets during the “mosquito raid” which occurs between the sunset and one hour after that. DEET-containing aerosol repellents some are suitable to apply to the skin while others, the ones that are in tall tin cans are for making a room mosquito-free before going to bed, not to be applied onto skin, so choose what you buy wisely can be obtained from supermarkets and pharmacies. There are also solid repellents coming in a tablet form which are used with their special devices indoors having an electricity socket. They release scentless chemicals into the air of the room which disturb the senses of mosquitoes and make them unable to “find” you. The tablets, together with their devices, can also be obtained from supermarkets and pharmacies. Beware! You shouldn’t touch those tablets with bare hands.

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever Kırım-Kongo kanamalı ateşi in Turkish, shortly KKKA is a serious viral disease and transmitted by a tick kene species. It can kill the infected person in a very short time, usually within three or four days. This disease has claimed more than 20 lives in Turkey within the past two years. The biggest risk is in the rural parts not urban centres of Tokat, Corum, Yozgat, Amasya, and Sivas provinces, all situated in an area where disease-carrying tick thrives because of the area’s location between the humid climate of maritime Black Sea Region and arid climate of Central Anatolia. Authorities recommend to wear light coloured clothing which makes distinguishing a tick clinged to your body easier. It’s also recommended to wear long trousers rather than shorts if you plan to walk through dense and/or tall grass areas the usual habitat for ticks. If you see a tick on your body or clothing, in no means try to pull it out since this may cause the tick’s head and its mouth where it carries the virus sticking inside your skin. Instead, go to the nearest hospital immediately to seek urgent expert aid. Being late to show up in hospital and to diagnose is number one killer in this disease. Symptoms are quite like that of flu and a number of other illnesses, so doctor should be informed about the possibility of Crim.-Cong. hemorr. fever and be shown the tick if possible.

Coastal Black Sea Region, Marmara Region, Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, and East Anatolia are generally deemed free of this disease and also free of the disease-carrying species of tick with no casualties. But in the name of being cautious, you should head for the nearest hospital anyway if you are bitten by most likely an innocent tick. Also remember that if you should head for the danger zone described above, ticks are not active in winter. Their active period is April to October, so is the danger period.

Public restrooms - Though many main squares and streets in the cities have a public restroom, if you cannot manage to find one, look for the nearest mosque, where you will see a public restroom in a corner of, or below its courtyard. Despite the fact that there is no shortage of cheap toilet papers anywhere in the country, however, you are unlikely to find toilet paper in almost any of the public restrooms except lavatories of restaurants –including the road restaurants, hotels and most of the cafés and bars, of course. Instead, you are likely to find a bidét or a tap Don't be puzzled. That's because devout Muslims use water instead of paper to clean up and paper usually used as a dryer after cleaning.. So it is a good idea to have a roll of toilet paper in your backpack during your walkings for sightseeing. It is best to take your single roll of toilet paper from home or bathroom of the hotel you’re staying at, because the smallest size available in Turkey market is 4-rolls per package 8-rolls per package being the commonest which would last very long actually longer than your trip, unless you will do all the road down to India overland. It isn’t expensive but it takes unnecessary backpack space, or unnecessary landfill space if you won’t use it liberally and won’t take the unused rolls back to home as an unusual souvenir from Turkey. In the better places on the road in the country there are rest rooms that are maintained and an attendent ready to collect YTL.50 to YTL 1. from the tourist for the privilege of using one. Restroom is tuvalet in colloquial Turkish, though you’ll more likely to see WC signs, complete with diagrams and doors signed Bay or Bayan with their rather crude translations: ‘Men’, ‘Women’.

Menstrual products – Different types and designs of disposable pads are widely available. Look around in the supermarkets. However, Turkish women prefer tampons much less than European women do, so they are rarer. They are available only in some of the pharmacies.

Hamam - If you haven't been to one, you've missed one of life's great experiences and never been clean. You can catch your inner peace with history and water in a bath hamam. See hamams in Istanbul.

Dial 155 for police, from any telephone without charge. However, in rural areas there is no police coverage, so dial 156 in such a place for jandarma Military Police , a military unit for rural security.

Big cities in Turkey, especially Istanbul, are not immune to petty crime. Although petty crime is not especially directed towards tourists, by no means are they exceptions. Snatching, pickpocketing, and mugging are the most common kinds of petty crime. However, recently with the developing of a camera network which watches streets and squares –especially the central and crowded ones- 24-hour a day in Istanbul, the number of snatching and mugging incidents declined. Just like anywhere else, following common sense is recommended. Please note that the following recommendations are for the big cities, and most small-to-mid size cities usually have no petty crime problems at all Have your wallet and money in your front pockets instead of back pockets, backpack or shoulder bag.

You should drive defensively at all times and take every precaution while driving in Turkey. Drivers in Turkey routinely ignore traffic regulations, including driving through red lights and stop signs, and turning left from the far right lane; these driving practices cause frequent traffic accidents. Drivers should be aware of several particular driving practices prevalent in Turkey. Drivers who experience car troubles or accidents pull to the side of the road and turn on their emergency lights to warn other drivers, but many drivers place a large rock or a pile of rocks on the road about 10-15 meters behind their vehicles instead of turning on emergency lights. You may not use a cell phone while driving. It is strictly prohibited by law.

Don’t exhibit your camera or cellphone for too long if it is a new and/or expensive model they know what to take away, no one will bother to steal a ten-year-old cell phone as it would pay very little. The same goes for your wallet, if it’s overflowing with money. Leave a wide berth and move away from the area quickly if you see two or more people begin to argue and fight as this may be a ruse to attract your attention while another person relieves you of your valuables. Be alert, this often happens very quickly. Watch your belongings in crowded places and on public transport, especially on trams and urban buses.

Avoid dark and desolate alleys at night. If you know you have to pass through such a place at night, don’t take excessive cash with you but instead deposit your cash into the safe-box at your hotel. Stay away from demonstrating crowds if the demonstration seems to be turning into an unpeaceful one. Also in resort towns, when going to beach, don’t take your camera or cell phone with you if there will be no one to take care of them while you are swimming. If you notice that your wallet has been stolen it is wise to check the nearest trash cans before reporting the loss to the police. It is often the case that thieves in Turkey will drop the wallet into the trash to avoid being caught in possession of the wallet and proven a thief. Obviously it is highly likely that your money will no longer be in it, but there is a chance that your credit cards and papers will be.

See also scams section of Istanbul article to have an idea about what kinds of scams you may come across with in other parts of the country too, especially the touristy ones, not just Istanbul.

Upon entering some museums, hotels, metro stations, and almost all shopping malls, especially in larger cities, you will notice security checkpoints similar to those found in airports. Don't worry, this is the standard procedure in Turkey and does not imply an immediate danger of attack. These security screenings are also conducted in a much more relaxed way than the airports, so you will not have to remove your belt to avoid the alarm when walking through the metal detector.

Though slightly off-topic be advised to carry passport or other means of identification at all times. One may not be requested to show them for a long period, then all of a sudden a minibus is checked by the traffic police or the military, particularly in Eastern Turkey, or one runs into an officer of the law with time on his hand, and one must show papers. Some government buildings may ask you to temporarily surrender your passport in return for equipment such as headphones for simultaneous translation etc. and you may find your passport stored in an open box along with the locals ID cards which may be a little disconcerting. Hotels may request you to hand your passport in until you paid the bill, which puts you into an awkward situation. Referring to the police always made them hand the passport back, once the registration procedure was finalized. Showing a personal visiting card, one or two credit cards or knowing the address of a respectable hotel may solve the no-papers situation, but any self-respecting officer will tell you that you are in the wrong, and will be sorry next time. If treated politely however police and military can be quite friendly and even offer rides to the next city no joke intended.

If you intend to travel to Eastern or Southeastern Anatolia, stay ahead of the news. Although it offers many beautiful sights, the situation is far from secure due to ethnic strife and protests, sometimes resulting in violence. The region is far from a war zone, but take precaution when visiting this volatile place. The real risk of threat is not very big though, if you stick on major routes and follow common sense rules such as avoiding demonstrations.

Animals
– Turkish wilderness is home to both poisonous and non-poisonous snake yılan species. In fact, humid forests of northeastern Black Sea region is habitat of a small-sized but one of the most poisonous snakes in the world. Southern and especially southeastern parts even cities! of the country has large numbers of scorpions akrep, so exercise caution if/when you are sleeping on open rooftops, which is common in southeastern region in summer. If you are bitten by one, seek urgent medical aid.

As for wild mammals, presumably the most dangerous ones are wolves, bears and wild boars. All of these animals live only in mountainous areas of almost all regions and your chance of sighting one is very low except boars which are not so rare. Wolves and bears do not attack if you don’t follow or disturb them or, particularly, their youngs aggressively, however boars are known to attack even with the slightest provocation.

The biggest animal threat comes from stray dogs or sheepdogs in rural areas. Don’t assume you will come across gangs of aggressive stray dogs next to the gate of Hagia Sophia, or the beach club however. They are mostly found in rural areas and non-central parts of the cities. They are usually discreet and are usually afraid more of you than you are afraid of them. Rabies kuduz is endemic in Turkey and most of the world (http://wwwn.cdc.gov/trave...), so anyone bitten by a dog or other carnivore should seek urgent treatment, despite what you may be told by your hotel or other well meaning strangers.

Many stray dogs you’ll see in the cities bear plastic “ear rings”. Those ear tags mean the dog is cleaned up, vaccinated against rabies and a number of other diseases, sterilized, and then returned back to the streets as this is the most humane treatment compare with keeping them in a cage or a cage-like environment or putting them to sleep. The process is going on, so we can assume stray dog problem in Turkey will disappear in natural ways sometime in future.

Be careful when crossing the roads as mentioned in get around/on foot section.

things to do

Turks are a very friendly, polite and hospitable people, sometimes even to a fault.

When you are invited into a Turkish home, make sure to bring them a gift. Anything is fine from flowers to chocolate and indeed something representative from your country but not wine and other alcoholic beverages if you are about to meet the host or if you do not know them well enough, as many Turks, for religious reasons or not, do not drink alcoholic beverages, and that is why it would be considered inappropriate as a gift. When you arrive at the house take off your shoes just outside or immediately inside the door, unless the owner explicitly allows you to keep them on. Even then, it might be more polite to remove your shoes. And if you really want their respect, thank your host for the invitation and compliment them. When inside the house, don't ask for anything for they will surely offer it. The host will make sure to make you feel at home, so don't take advantage of their kindness.

People in Turkey respect elderly people, so in a bus, tram, subway and in other forms public transportation, younger people will always offer you a place to sit if you are an older person as well as a handicapped person or a pregnant woman or have children with you.

It is respectful to bend slightly not a complete bow when greeting someone older or in a position of authority.

Try to use some Turkish phrases. They will be complimentary if you try, and there is no reason to be embarrassed. They realize that Turkish is very difficult for foreigners and won't scoff at all at your mistakes; on the contrary, they will be delighted for trying it, even if they may not always be able to understand your pronunciation!

post

Post offices are recognizable by their yellow-black PTT signs. Letters and cards should be taken to a post office since the postboxes on the streets are rare and there is no guarantee that they are emptied at all, even if you spot one. Nevertheless, Turkish Post PTT prints some beautiful stamps. Postage for cards and letters costs 0.80 TL for domestic shipments, and 1.10 TL about €0.55 for international shipments to most countries, although may be a little more up to 1.35 TL for most distant countries. Please check the PTT webpage for the most current rates (http://www.ptt.gov.tr/en/). Main post offices in cities are open between 8:30AM and 8:30PM, whereas post offices in towns and smaller post offices in cities are usually open between 8:30AM and 5:30PM.

Poste restante/general delivery letters should be sent to an address in the format of: official full name of the addressee because the receiver will be asked for an ID card, passport or anything that can proof he/she is the receiver + POSTRESTANT + name of the quarter/hood/district if in a city where there are more than one post office or name of the town where the post office is + postal code if known, not obligatory, generally available at the entrance or on the interior walls of the post office itself + the name of the province in which the quarter/town of the post office is located. The receiver should pay 0.50 TL upon taking his/her mail.

things to avoid

Turkish people understand that visitors are usually not aware of Turkish culture and customs, and tend to be tolerant of blunders in this regard by foreigners. There are, however, some which will meet with universal disapproval, and these should be avoided at all costs:

Politics:

Turks in general have very strong nationalistic views, and would view any criticisms of their country and expressions and attitudes insulting the Turkish flag, the republic and Atatürk - the founding father of the republic as very offensive and with varying degrees of hostility. To avoid getting into the bad raps of your hosts, it is advisable to only praise the country and avoid bringing up anything negative about it.

Don't mention the Armenian Genocide, Kurdish separatism and the Cyprus problem. These are extremely sensitive topics and are definitely to be avoided. Turkish society has a highly emotional approach to these issues.

Religion:

Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country, though secular, and although you will see varying degrees of Islamic practice in Turkey, with most Turks subscribing to a liberal form of Islam, it is extremely rude to insult or mock some of its traditions, and ensure that you do not speak badly of the Islamic religion. In regard to the Call to Prayer, which is read 5 times a day from the speakers of the numerous mosques throughout Turkey. Do not mock or mimick these calls, as Turks are extremely proud and sensitive of their heritage and culture, and will be very offended.

Social custom and etiquette breaches:

Don't try to shake hands with a devout Muslim that is veiled woman unless she offers her hand first, and with a devout Muslim often recognizable with a cap and beard man unless he offers his hand first.

Don't blow your nose during meals, even discreetly. This is considered extremely rude.

Don't pick your teeth during meals, even discreetly. This is considered extremely rude.

Do not put your feet up while sitting and try not to show the bottom of your feet to someone. This is considered rude.

Don't point with your finger at someone, even discreetly. This is considered rude.

Don't chew gum while having a conversation and during public occasions. This is considered extremely rude.

Don't touch someone without permission. This is considered extremely rude.

Don't bear hug or back slap someone, especially in formal situations and occasions and with someone you just met and/or you do not know well enough. This is considered very rude.

Don't use swear words during conversation or while talking to oneself in public and also among friends. This is considered extremely rude.

Public drunkenness especially the loud and obnoxious variety is definitely not appreciated and is frowned upon, especially in more conservative areas of the country. Drunken tourists may also attract the attention of pickpockets. However what is absolutely not tolerated with drunkenness especially by the police, if it is accompanied with physical aggressiveness towards other people, this may result with a fine and if this is repeated a heavier fine and/or a visit to the police station may result if you are tourist, deportation from the country can result.

Certain gestures, common in the western world, are considered rude expressions in this culture. People tend to be tolerant if they can see you are a foreigner. They know you are probably doing it subconsciously, but if you take the time to keep these in mind, you won’t have any misunderstandings. Making an ‘O’ with your thumb and forefinger as if to say “OK!” is rude because you are making the gesture for a hole - which has connotations referring to homosexuality in the Turkish psyche. Avoid clicking your tongue. Some people do this subconsciously at the beginning of a sentence. It is a gesture of dismissal. Also the "got your nose" gesture which is made by making a fist and putting your thumb between your forefinger and the middle finger is considered the equivalent of the middle finger in Turkey.

contact

Dial 112 for an ambulance in anywhere, from any telephone, without a charge. In case of a fire, dial 110; for police, call 155. However, in rural areas there is not a police coverage, so dial 156 for gendarme, a military unit for rural security. All these numbers are free of charge and can be called from a telephone booth without inserting a calling card, or any phone including cell phones.

gay and lesbian travelers

Turkey is considered to be quite safe for gay and lesbian travelers, and violence against homosexuals is quite rare. There are no laws against homosexuality in Turkey, but same-sex relationships are not recognized by the government and flaunting your orientation openly is very likely to draw stares and whispers.

talk

The sole official language of Turkey is Turkish. Turkish is an Altaic language and its closest living relatives are other Turkic languages, which are spoken in southwestern, central and northern Asia; and to a lesser degree by significant communities in the Balkans. Because Turkish is an agglutinative language, native speakers of Indo-European languages generally find it difficult to learn. Since 1928, Turkish is written in a variant of the Latin alphabet after so many centuries of using the Ottoman Turkish one, evident in many historical texts and documents with the additions of ç/Ç, ğ/Ğ, ı, İ, ö/Ö, ş/Ş and ü/Ü, and with the exclusions of Q, W and X.

Kurdish is also spoken by an estimated 7-10% of the population. Several other languages exist, like Laz in the North-East also spoken in adjacent Georgia, and in general people living near borders will often be speaking the language at the other side too, like Arabic in the South-East.

Thanks to migration, even in rural areas most villages will have at least somebody who has worked in Germany and can thus speak German. The same goes for other West-European languages like Dutch often mistakenly called "Flemish" there or French. Recent immigration from Balkans means there is also a possibility to come across native Serbo-Croatian, Bulgarian, and Albanian speakers mainly in big cities of western Turkey, but don't count on this. English is also increasingly popular among the younger generation. The "Universities" that train pupils for a job in tourism pour out thousands of youngsters who want to practice their knowledge on the tourist, with varying degrees of fluency. Language universities produce students that nowadays are pretty good at their chosen language.

mosques

Because of religious traditions, all women are required to wear head scarves and not to wear miniskirts or shorts upon entering a mosque or a church and synagogue. The same goes for the tombs of Islamic saints, too, if the tomb is not named “museum” officially. If you don’t have a shawl or a scarf to put on your head, you can borrow one at the entrance. However wearing-a-scarf rule is somewhat relaxed recently, especially in big mosques of Istanbul in which seeing a tourist is not a rarity. On such mosques, no one is warned about their clothes, or because of their lack of head scarves. Even if you’d have to wear a head scarf, no need to worry about how head scarves can be worn properly, just put it onto the crown of your head you may wrap it under your chin or behind your neck, lest it slip, that will be excessively adequate.

Also, men are required to wear trousers, not shorts, upon entering a mosque or a church and synagogue, however nowadays no one is warned about their clothes at least in big cities. You may find when entering a mosque in more rural areas you will be expected to follow all traditional procedures.

During the prayer time, worshippers choose to line in the front rows of the mosques, at such a time stay behind and try not to be noisy. During the Friday noon prayer, which is the most attended, you might be asked to leave the mosque, don’t take it personally, it is because the mosque will be very crowded, there just won’t be enough room for both the worshippers and the sightseers. You will be able to enter back as soon as worshippers are out of the gate.

Unlike some other Middle Eastern cultures, eating, drinking, smoking which is strictly banned, talking or laughing loudly, sleeping or just lying, even sitting on the ground inside the mosques is frowned upon in Turkish culture. Public displays of affection is definitely taboo.

All shoes should be removed before entering any mosque. There are shoes desks inside the mosques, though you can choose to hold them in your hand a plastic bag which would be used only for this purpose would help during your visit. Some mosques have safeboxes with a lock instead of shoe desks.

Although there are “official” opening hours, which are typically shorter than what the mosque is actually open, at the entrances of the most sightseen mosques, they don’t really mean anything. You can visit a mosque as long as its gates are open.

Despite the odd tourists who do not conform to the dress code, it is best to dress conservatively and to follow all traditional procedures, when entering mosques, tombs and other places of worship; not only because it is required but also as a sign of respect.

Telephone

telephone
242

Antalya, alanya, kemer, and kaåŸ

telephone
312

Ankara

telephone
212

Istanbul-european side

telephone
216

Istanbul-asian side, and princes' islands

telephone
224

Bursa, and uludaäŸ

telephone
232

Izmir, and ã‡eåŸme

telephone
 

While not as common as they used to be, possibly because of the widespread use of mobile phones which are virtually used by the whole population in the country, public pay phones can still be found at the sides of central squares and major streets in towns and cities and around post offices PTT, especially around their outer walls. With the phase-out of old magnetic cards, public phones now operate with chip telekom cards which are available in 30, 60 or 120 units and can be obtained at post offices, newspaper and tobacco kiosks. However emergency numbers can be called without card or anything from these phones. You can also use your credit card on these phones, though it may not work in the off chance. All phones in the booths have Turkish and English instructions and menus, many also have German and French in addition.

There are also telephones available in some kiosks and shops where you pay cash after your call. To spot these, look for kontürlü telefon signs. These telephones are more expensive than the ones at the booths, though.

It is estimated that approximately 98% of the population of Turkey lives within the coverage areas of Turkey’s three cell phone line providers. Line providers from most countries have roaming agreements with one or more of these companies.

Pre-paid mobile phone SIM cards can be purchased for approximately 20-50 TL. These can be purchased at the airport on arrival or from the many outlets in Istanbul and other large cities. Providers include Vodaphone.

Here is a quick list of telephone codes for some major cities and towns of touristic importance:

telephone
252

MuäŸla, bodrum, marmaris, and fethiye

telephone
258

Denizli, and pamukkale

telephone
286

Çanakkale, and gallipoli

telephone
332

Konya

telephone
384

NevåŸehir, and most of cappadocia though a few well-known cappadocian towns which are parts of aksaray province have 382 as their area code

telephone
 

Prior to the telephone code, dial 0 for intercity calls.

Numbers starting with 0800 are pay-free, whereas the ones starting with 0900 are high-fee services. 7-digit numbers starting with 444 mainly used by companies are charged as local calls wherever they are dialed in Turkey.

Dial 00 prior to country code for international calls from Turkey. When calling into Turkey, the international country code that should prefix city code and phone number is 90.