220 volts AC, 50Hz. The European two-pin plug is
Turkish is the official language, but English is widely
understood in the main tourist areas.
Tipping is a way of life in Turkey and it is customary to give
some small change for most services, or a small percent of the
bill. In bigger hotels and restaurants if a service charge is not
added to the bill, it is customary to tip between 10 and 15%. For
taxi fares it is enough to round up the bill. Attendants at Turkish
baths expect to share about 15% of the total bill if service has
Due to the current situation in neighbouring Iraq, travellers
are advised to be cautious and check with their embassy for a
safety update before departing for Turkey.. There is a significant
threat from terrorism in Turkey and there have been a number of
terrorist incidents, including small explosions, around the
country, including in Istanbul and the capital, Ankara. Explosions
on the Aegean Coast and the Mediterranean have killed and injured
many people, including foreign tourists. Kurdish militant groups,
as well as international terrorist groups, are currently active in
Turkey and further attacks against the tourism industry in
particular are likely. The Turkish economy is heavily reliant on
tourism, which Kurdish separatists have repeatedly threatened to
target. There are continuing incidents of local terrorism in
Eastern Turkey, particularly the south east. Visitors should avoid
any public demonstrations. Street crime is relatively low although
visitors should guard their valuables at all times. A number of
sexual assaults have been reported in coastal tourist areas. Many
parts of Turkey lie on a major seismic fault line and are subject
to earthquakes and tremors; several fairly recent earthquakes have
shaken eastern Turkey, the southwest and southeast.
Religious customs should be respected, particularly during the
month of Ramadan when eating, drinking and smoking during daylight
hours should be discreet as it is forbidden by the Muslim culture.
Dress modestly when visiting mosques or religious shrines. Do not
take photographs of or near military and official institutions and
always ask permission when taking photographs of people. There is a
smoking ban on all forms of public transport and in outdoor venues
(including stadiums and playgrounds). By July 2009 this will
include cafes, bars and restaurants as well.
In Turkey, business associates are addressed by their first
names. If the associate is male, then his name is followed by
'bey', and 'hanim' is used for females. A formal, conservative
dress code is observed in Turkey, and women should be careful to
dress particularly conservatively. Gifts are common and are usually
something the associate would use in business such as a pen or
other office stationary. Business hours throughout Turkey are
generally 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday with an hour taken over
The international country dialling code for Turkey is +90. The
outgoing code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g.
0044 for the United Kingdom). City/area codes are in use, e.g.
Istanbul Asya (Asia side) is (0)216 and Istanbul Avrupa (Europe
side) is (0)212. GSM 900 and 1800 networks cover most of the
country. Internet cafes are available in the main towns and
Travellers to Turkey do not have to pay duty on the following
items: 200 cigarettes, or 50 cigars, or 200g tobacco. Alcohol
allowance includes 1 litre or 700ml bottle of wine or spirits.
Other allowances include 5 bottles perfume up to 120ml each; gifts
to the value of dm500, tea and coffee for personal consumption,
jewellery and guns for sporting purposes. Tape recorders, record
players and transistor radios have to be declared on arrival.
Restricted items include playing cards limited to one pack.