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Practical Information:

Passport and Visas

Tourists are required to carry a valid passport. For some countries a visa is required. Consultation with the nearest Turkish Consulate or Turkish Embassy is advised. Visas can be obtained upon arrival.

List of countries requiring a visa, and application instructions are provided at http://www.mfa.gov.tr

Language

Turkish is the official language. But most people speak English, German or French as a second language.

Currency and Exchange

The monetary unit is Turkish Lira (TL). It is available in notes (lira) and coins (kurus). Exchange rates are published every day. There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency that you can bring into Turkey. All major credit cards are accepted by hotels and most shops. As of June 01, 2010, the USD exchange rate is 1.57 TL/$ and the Euro exchange rate is 1.91 TL/Euro.

Transportation

From the city centre, airport buses (HAVAS) depart to Istanbul Atatürk International Airport every 30 minutes from 04.00-23.30. The fare is 10 TL. The ride takes approximately 40 minutes (Depends on the traffic). All taxis are metered in Istanbul and they are yellow. The taxi fare is approximately $30 U.S. from the city centre to the airport.

From the city centre, airport buses (HAVAS) depart to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport every 30 minutes from 04.00-21.30. The fare is 13 TL. The ride takes approximately 1 hour (Depends on the traffic). All taxis are metered in Istanbul and they are yellow. The taxi fare is approximately $50 U.S. from the city centre to the airport.

Banks, Post Offices and Telephones

Official banks are generally open 09.00-17.00 Monday to Friday. There are fixed postage rates. Post offices are open 08.30-17.00 from Monday to Friday. The central office is also open 09.00-12.00 on Sunday.

Time Zone

Turkey is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Climate

All four seasons are experienced in Turkey. Climate is typically Mediterranean with dry summers and rain during the fall and autumn. A Mediterranean climate with its hot summer and mild winter prevail in Istanbul. July and August are the hottest months of the year. In July the average monthly temperature is a high of 28 C' and a low of 19 C'.

Electricity

The electric current in Turkey is 220 volts.