Tips and Tricks about Turkey
Basic information is provided by Turkish Embassy at Washington DC
below. You may find updated info by visiting www.turkey.org.
There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency that may be
brought into Turkey, but not more than 5 5,000 worth of Turkish
currency may be brought into or taken out of the country.
The exchange slips for the conversion of foreign currency into
Turkish lira should be kept, since you may be required to show these
when reconverting your Turkish lira back into foreign currency, and
when taking souvenirs out of the country (to prove that they have
been purchased with legally exchanged foreign currency).
- The following items may be brought into the country duty free
- personal effects of the tourist.
- one TV, one color pocket TV (maximum 16 cm screen), one
TV-tape-radio combination, one video recording camera and 5
video cassettes (blank); 5 records, 5 tape cassettes or
- one video player, cine-projector (8 mm) and 10 rolls of
film (blank), one slide projector.
- one pocket computer (maximum main memory capacity Ram
128k. Byte), electronic playing devices (without cassette -
- one transistor radio and portable radio - tape player (its
specification to be determined by the Ministry of Finance
and Customs), one Walkman or pocket tape recorder, one
portable compact disc player.
- Binoculars (one pair, except night binoculars)
- harmonica, mandolin, flageolet, flute, guitar, and
accordion (only one of each type, maximum 3 musical
- personal sports equipment.
- necessary medical items.
- bicycle, baby buggy, toys.
- 200 cigarettes and 50 cigars.
- 200 grams of tobacco and 200 cigarette papers, or 50 grams
of chewing tobacco or 200 grams of pipe tobacco, or 200
grams of snuff
- (In addition to the above allowances, it is possible to
purchase 400 cigarettes, 100 cigars, and 500 grams of pipe
tobacco from the Turkish Duty Free Shops upon entering the
- 1.5kg. coffee, 1.5kg. instant coffee, 500 grams of tea.
- 1 kilo chocolate and 1 kilo sweets.
- 5 (100 cc) or 7 (70 cc) bottles of wines and/or spirits.
- five bottles of perfume (120 ml max. each).
- one portable typewriter.
- one camera with 5 rolls of film.
- First aid, and spare parts for the car.
- Other items necessary during the journey.
- Valuable items and all items with a value of over $ 15,000
must be registered in the owner's passport upon entering Turkey,
for control upon exit.
- Antiques brought into the country must be registered in the
owner's passport to avoid difficulties on exit.
- Sharp instruments (including camping knives) and weapons may
not be brought into the country without special permission.
- The bringing into the country, trade, and consumption of
marijuana and all other narcotics is strictly forbidden and
subject to heavy punishment.
- Gifts, not exceeding 500 DM in value and not for trading
purposes, may be brought into the country duty free. In
addition, gifts not exceeding 500 OM in value may be posted to
Turkey duty free, if the date stamped by the sending post office
falls one month before, or one month after the following
holidays: Seker Bayrami, Kurban Bayrami, Christmas, and New
Cellular Telephones entering the country must be accompanied by a
certification form showing ownership. Ownership must be documented
in the passport of the owner and will be checked on entry and exit.
For more information contact the Ministry of Transportation, General
Directorate at Tel: (312) 212 35 72 - 212 60 10 (10 lines), Fax:
(312) 221 32 26 or write to Ulastirma Bakanligi Telsiz Gn. Md. Emek
- Gifts and souvenirs: for a new carpet, a proof of purchase;
for old items, a certificate from a directorate of a museum is
- Exporting antiques from Turkey is forbidden.
- Valuable personal items can only be taken out of the country
providing they have been registered in the owner's passport upon
entry, or providing they can show they have been purchased with
legally exchanged currency.
- Minerals may only be exported from the country with a special
document obtained from the MTA (General Directorate of Mining
Exploration and Research). Etudler Dairesi 06520, Ankara. Phone:
+90 312 287 3430 /1622, Fax: +90 312 285 4271
You Can Receive a Tax Refund for the Goods You Purchased In
- Refunds will be made to travelers who do not reside in Turkey.
- All goods (including food and drinks) are included in the
refunds with the exclusion of services rendered.
- The minimum amount of purchase that qualifies for refund is
- Retailers that qualify for tax refunds must be
"authorized for refund." These retailers must display
a permit received from their respective tax office.
- The retailer will make four copies of the receipt for your
refund, three of which will be received by the purchaser. If
photocopies of the receipt are received the retailer must sign
and stamp the copies to validate them. If you prefer the refund
to be made by check, a Tax-free Shopping Check for the amount to
be refunded to the customer must be given along with the
- For the purchaser to benefit from this exemption he must leave
the country within three months with the goods purchased showing
them to Turkish customs officials along with the appropriate
receipts and! or check.
- There are four ways to receive your refund:
- If the retailer gives you a check it can be cashed at a
bank in the customs area at the airport. If it is not
possible to cash the check upon departure or if you do not
wish to cash it then, .e customer must, within one month,
send a copy of the receipt showing that the goods have left
the country to the retailer who will, within ten days upon
receiving the receipt, send a bank transfer to the
purchaser's hank or address.
- If the certified receipt and check are brought back to the
retailer on a subsequent visit thin one-month of the date of
customs certification, the refund can be made directly to
- Retailers may directly refund the amount to trustworthy
customers upon purchase
- The refund may be made by the organization of those
companies that are authorized to make tax refunds.
Additional information: Ministry of Finance and Tax Dept. General
Directorate, (Maliye Bakanligi, Gelirler Genel Mudurlugu) KDV Subesi
06100, Ulus - Ankara
Phone: +90 312 310 3880 / 725 - 728 - 735, Fax: +90 312 311 4510
Turkish Tourist Health Society (Turizm Sagligi Dernegi-Hacettepe
Üniversitesi Tip Fakültesi Plastik ve Rekonstrüktif Cerrahi Ana
Bilim Dali, Sihhiye 06100 ANKARA
Phone: +90 312 311 9393 - 310 98 08) performs the functions below,
to provide the travelers in the entire country, mainly in the
touristic regions, with proper health care:
- to secure food hygiene
- to prevent environmental pollution
- to ensure hygiene and healthy working-conditions in touristic
Health Regulations for Pets
For those who wish to bring domestic animals into the country the
following are required:
- Pets have to be 3 months and older
- An International Certificate of Health issued within 15 days
before the travel
- The Identification Card
- Vaccination Card
If you have an official certificate, you may bring one cat, one
bird, one dog and 10 aquarium fish into the country. To get
information for the importation of pets, please see the Consular
Those who wish to enter the country with their vans, minibuses,
automobiles, station wagons, bicycles, motorcycles, motorbikes,
sidecars, buses, motor coaches, trailers, caravans or other
transport vehicles, will have to provide the following
- International driving license.
- Car license (document where all details related to the car and
the owner's name are registered). If it is somebody else's
vehicle a power of attorney should be provided.
- International green card (Insurance card). The TR sign should
- Transit book "Carnet de passage" (for those who want
to proceed to the Middle East).
The vehicle can be brought into Turkey for up to 6 Months. The owner
should declare on the opposite form, the date of departure at the
border gate and should absolutely ve the country at the date
declared. If for any important reason the staying period has to be
ended, it is necessary to apply to;
- The Turkish Touring and Automobile Club (Türkiye Turing ve
Otomobil Kurumu) 1. Sanayi Sitesi Yani, 4.Levent, Istanbul,
Phone: +90 212 282 8140 (7 lines).
- The General Directorate of Customs (Gümrükler Genel Müdürlügü),
Phone: +90 312 310 3880, 310 3818, Fax: +90 312 311 1346, before
the end of the period declared.
In Case of Accident
The accident should be reported to the police or gendarme. That
report has to be certified by the nearest local authority. The owner
should apply to the customs authority with his passport and report.
If the vehicle can be repaired, it is necessary to inform the
customs authority first and take the vehicle to a garage. If the
vehicle is not repairable and if the owner wishes to leave the
country without his vehicle, he has to deliver it to the nearest
customs office, and the registration of his vehicle on his passport
will be cancelled. (Only after the cancellation can the owner of the
vehicle leave the country.)
Following an accident, you can phone:
- Trafik Polisi (Traffic Police), Phone: 154
- Jandarma (Gendarme), Phone: 156
For more information, contact the Touring and Automobile
Association of Turkey.
Formalities for Private Yacht Owners
Yachts require a Transit Log and may remain in Turkish waters for
up to two years maintenance or for wintering. There are certain
ports licensed by the Ministry of Tourist the storage of yachts for
a period of two to five years. For further information and
regulations contact the marina concerned.
Upon arriving in Turkish waters, yachts should immediately go for
control of the ship to the nearest port of entry which are as
follows: Iskenderun, Botas (Adana), Mersin, Tasucu, Anamur, Alanya,
Antalya, Kemer, Finike, Kas, Fethiye, Marmaris, Datça, Bodrum, Güllük
Didim, Kusadasi, Çesme, Izmir, Dikili, Ayvalik, Akçay, Çanakkale,
Bandirma, Tekirdag, Istanbul, Zonguldak, Sinop, Samsun, Ordu,
Giresun, Trabzon, Rize, Hopa.
All the required information concerning the yacht, yachtsmen,
members, intended route, passports, customs declarations, health
clearance, and any obligatory matters must be entered in the Transit
The Transit Log is to be completed by the captain of a yacht
under a foreign flag or amateur sailor acting as captain of the
The Transit Log is completed upon first entering a Turkish port
and, generally, it is necessary to contact the Harbor Authority
before leaving. For information on tax-free fuel, contact the Marina
If you have a certificate from the Tourism Ministry Yacht Harbor,
you may take petrol at no charge, provided you possess an official
Formalities for Private Plane Owners
When coming to Turkey, international air routes should be followed.
Private planes may stay for up to three months in Turkey with
tourist status, but for longer periods permission should be obtained
- The General Directorate of Customs (Gümrükler Genel Müdürlügü),
Phone: +90 312 310 3880, 310 3818, Fax: +90 312 311 1346
The airports of Ankara, Adana, Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Trabzon
and Dalaman have ties for private planes. It is also possible to
hire planes and helicopters in Turkey.
For further information, apply to:
- The Civil Aviation Department of the Ministry of Transport (Ulastirma
Bakanligi, Havacilik Gen. Müd.). Bosna-Hersek Cad., No: 5 -
06338 - Emek, Ankara.
Phone: +90 312 212 6730, Fax: +90 312 2124684, TIx : 44659 Ga-tr.
Diving for purposes of sport, with proper equipment and in
non-restricted areas, is permitted. Foreign divers should have
official documentation of their specifics and training and must be
accompanied, when diving, by a licensed Turkish guide.
The limit for diving with diving gear is 30 meters. For
educational purposes, this limit is extended to 42 meters. Dives
exceeding 30 meters must be carried out with proper diving and
medical equipment. In order to protect Turkish archaeological and
cultural values. It is strictly forbidden to transport Turkish
antiquities or natural specimens.
Turkish post-offices are easily recognized by their black PTT
letters on a yellow background. Major post offices are open from
8:00 a.m. till 12:00 p.m., Monday/Saturday, and 9:00 a.m. till 7:00
p.m., Sunday. Small post-offices have the same hours as the
Postal charges vary for different services depending on
destination. Post restante letters should be addressed "postrestant"
to the central post-office Merkez Postanesi, in the town of your
choice. You have to show your identification card to collect your
All PTT branches have the facilities to exchange money at the
current international exchange rates, as well as international
postal orders and travelers' cheques. There is also an express
postal service (APS) operating to 90 countries for letters ,
documents and small packages. A wide variety of special stamps are
available in all PTT centers for philatelists.
To phone from PTT telephone booths, which are extensively found
in all areas; telephone cards , and tokens (";jeton") in
three sizes are used. Local, inter-city and international calls can
be made from all PTT offices. Besides these main offices there are
also mobile PTT services in the touristic areas. For the area codes
of major cities and touristic areas in Turkey, please see the
"Area Codes" list. Foreign countries area codes are
indicated in the International Telephone Codes list.
Some important service numbers are;
- 155 Police
- 112 Emergency
- 110 Fire
- 118 Unknown Numbers
- 161 PTT Information.
Monday-Friday (8:30-12:30), (13:30-17:30)
Monday-Friday (8:30-12-00), (13:30-17:00)
Monday-Saturday (9:30-13:00), (14:00-19:00)
Istanbul Covered market: Monday-Saturday (8:00-19:00)
During summer months, the government offices and many other
establishments in the Aegean and Mediterranean Regions are closed in
the afternoon. These fixed summer hours are determined by the
governing bodies of the provinces.
Other Practical Information
GMT+3 hours (April-September) GMT+2 hours (October-March)
Argentina -5, France -1, Netherlands -1, Australia +8, Germany -1,
Saudi Arabia+1, Austria -1, Greece 0, Sweden -1, Egypt 0, Italy -1,
Switzerland -1, England -2, Japan +7, Spain -1, USA -7 (EST) -10
* These time differences are for the period October-March; however,
they may show variances according to each country's own time-saving
Super (premium) - Unleaded (at some places). Normal (regular) -
220 volts AC/50 Hz. all over Turkey. (Industrial:380 V) Plug:
European round/ 2-prong plug.
Although tap water is safe to drink since it is chlorinated, it is
recommended to get advice from the conceded authorities of the
Weights and Measures:
1 inch = 2.54 centimeters , 1 centimeter = 0.3937 inches
1 yard = 0,9144 meters, 1 meter = 1.0936 yards
1 mile = 1,6093 kilometers, 1 kilometer = 0.6214 miles
1 pound = 0,4536 kilograms, 1 kilogram = 2.2046 pounds
1 acres = 0,4047 Hectares, 1 hectare = 2.471 acres
1 UK gallon = 4.546 liters, 1 liter = 0.2199 UK gallons
1 US gallon = 3.7831 liters, 1 liter = 0.2643 US gallons
Newspapers and Magazines:
Foreign newspapers and magazines are available in big cities and
tourist areas. Also there is a Turkish daily newspaper, Daily News,
published in English.
At various establishments like hotels, restaurants, Turkish baths,
barbers and hairdressers, tipping at a rate of 5%-15% of the total
is common. Taxi and "dolmus" drivers on the other hand, do
not expect tips or even rounded fares.
Visiting a mosque:
Five times a day, the "müezzin" calls the faithful to
prayer in the mosque. Before entering a mosque, Muslims wash
themselves and remove their shoes. Foreign visitors should also
remove their shoes and show the respect they would any other house
of worship and avoid visiting the mosque during prayer time. Women
should cover their heads and arms, and not wear miniskirts. Men
should not wear shorts. (In certain famous mosques, overalls are
provided for those not suitably dressed.)