Turkey is blessed with glorious sunshine for much of the year. Beyond then sun, sea and ancient ruins lies the working landscape.
Along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, industrial, residential and recreational land use compete with agriculture, pushing the orchards, fields and farmland further inland. The three largest cities are Turkey’s focal points. Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir have become major urban centres by historical chance as well as by design. Following the foundation of the Turkish Republic after World War 1, these cities became the focus for social and business life.
Industry and business clustered in the established commercial centres of Istanbul and Izmir while the apparatus of the government built itself a new capital inland in Ankara.These cities contain the country’s most respected universities, conservatories, theatres and concert halls. Jewish and Christian communities, and immigrants from different parts of the Ottoman Empire add diversity to the cities, contributing to the human mosaic so characteristic of Anatolia. The typical Turkish intellectual urbanite men and women have many things in common with their kind elsewhere in the world and they can be easygoing, fun-loving companions on your expeditions.
They are well-travelled, bilingual and have a high degree of tolerance, yet are ready to voice their opinions on weighty issues. However, you should also know that deep down they share values common to all Turkish people, such as a belief in the integrity of the family, loyalty and obligation to country and community, fairness in dealing with other human beings, hospitality, and respect for tradition.
The Working Landscape
Beyond then sun, sea and ancient ruins lies the working landscape. Turkey Kiz Kulesi IstanbulAlong the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, industrial, residential and recreational land use compete with agriculture, pushing the orchards, fields and farmland further inland.
The rural scenery radiates with honesty and health and enhances the travellers experience. As the motherland of wheat, the taste of ordinary turkish bread surpasses any other when eaten freshly-baked. The orchards, vineyards and vegetable fields grow delicate and vibrant crops in addition to which rice, cotton, sugar beet, tobacco and potatoes are the most common produce. This diversity and abundance of food products have contributed to the richness of theTurkish cuisine. Almost all neighbourhoods have weekly farmer’s markets in addition to small grocery stores, fruit and vegetable stands, butchers, bakeries and florists. If you happen to see a farmer’s market stop, explore and taste some of the fruit and vegetables. This is how they were meant to taste before civilzation came up with genetic engineering! Each resort has a market day selling both fresh fruit and vegetables and also a whofe host of leather goods, tee-shirts, souvenirs etc. and are well worth a visit. Please ask your representative for details of the market in your area.
Essential Holiday Information
Due to the high mineral content of water here in Turkey, we do advise that you drink bottled water. Readily available from hotels, shops and bars. Boiled water for tea and coffee is safe to drink.
The voltage in Turkey is 220 volts AC. Two pin plugs are used, but travel plugs are required.
The plumbing system here in Turkey is not quite as sophisticated as in Europe, so please put all waste paper in the bin provided in your bathroom.
Turkish people believe to clean oneself thoroughly one should use constant running water from the tap, rather than a basin full of water; hence the reason you may sometimes find no plugs.
Mosquitoes are out and about all the time. Mosquito machines for use in your rooms and the necessary repellents are available from most shops and chemists.
Our doctors are on call for our clients 24 hours a day and will either see you at his surgery or visit you at your hotel. They speak at least one foreign language and have been taking care of clients as Family Medicine Specialists for many years. If you are unwell whilst on holiday or need to see the doctor please advise your representative so they can follow your progress and help you in respect of bills or insurance claims.
Indentified by the sign “ECZANE” or “ECZANES” open from 08:00 until 20:00 hours. However, one chemist is always open alternatively all night, weekends and holidays. Late openings are posted on the door of all chemists after normal business hours.
In the centre of the town you will find the Post Office, indicated in Turkey with a large yellow sign reading “P.T.T. or TURK TELEKOM”. Your representative will advise you of the opening hours as these can vary depending on the time of the year. Here you can purchase stamps and make phone calls. There is a fixed rate for the postage of cards and letters and they should arrive within about 7 days. When calling home of course it is possible to phone from your hotels but please beware of the extra charges you will incur by using this service. (There may also be some language difficulties using the hotel switchboard). The easiest way to make a call is to buy a phone – card.
They come in different denominations depending on how long you wish to spend on the phone. The code for phoning your country is “00″ plus your country code and omit the “0″from your area code.
Newspapers – Foreign newspapers are available and are usually 1 day old and can be quite expensive. Otherwise you can buy the Turkish Daily News – an English language newspaper printed in Turkey – it should provide you with basic coverage of world events.
This includes goods obtained locally (e.g. in shops and supermarkets) in non EEC countries, or goods bought in the airport, duty free shop or on the aircraft.
Turkey is blessed with glorious sunshine for much of the year. However we adsive caution when it comes to spending too much time in the sun. Sunburn can ruin a great holiday and especially for your first few days there is a risk of burning be it by the pool, on a boat or even just out and about around the town.
By following a few simple guidelines you can prevent the dreaded sunburn and go home with a glowing healthy tan.
• A high protection sun cream should always be used for the first few days of your holiday before moving on to lower factors. Those with fair or sensitive skin or young children would be better advised to use it for the whole duration.
• It is better not to stay in the sun for more than a couple of hours for the first few days of your holiday.
• Avoid sitting in the sun between 12 noon and 15:00 as this is the hottest time of the day.
• Never sleep in the sun
• Always drink lots of water when in the sun and avoid alcohol as it leads to dehydration. It is advisable for children to wear a hat and t-shirt whenever possible.
Please ensure your apartment or hotel room door is secured before retiring at night or leaving during the day. If your balcony is accessible from the street or hotel grounds please ensure that it is also secured.
Please do not leave money or valuables in your room. Most hotels offer safety deposit boxes at a small charge and we recommend you make use of this facility. It is also a good idea to keep a separate record of your travellers cheques serial numbers and passport numbers.
Food and Drink
Stomach upsets on holiday can sometimes happen due to climate changes and unfamiliar foods. The following are a few tips to help you avoid any upsets.
• Drink bottled water and not tap water
• Avoid fruits which don’t require peeling
• Increase your sunbathing time gradually from day to day
Don’t forget that drinking large amounts of alcohol especially in hot climates can upset your stomach too!
As in all hot countries mosquitos, insects, ants, etc. are common in Turkey. These are usually harmless and are not a sign of your accommodation being unhygienic or dirty. If you come across any such insects please inform reception and they will take the necessary action. Regarding mosquitoes, there are many different repellents and plug-in devices, avaiable in Turkey from all chemists.
Art & Shopping
If you enjoy shopping you have come to the right place, and if you don’t you’ll probably get caught up in the frenzy anyway as it is difficult to escape the friendly Turkish shopkeeper or stall owner. Turkey is definitely a shoppers paradise.
To wander around the bazaars and streets is a task in itself., there is really no secret in how to avoid the shopkeepers eye and the chances are that he will have spotted you long before you arrive to his shop.
Shops are also difficult to miss as they sprawl out onto the pavements. Every item imaginable is displayed in an interesting fashion. But before you have time to explore these goods, a friendly face will be talking to you in your language and inviting you to take a much needed seat and refreshment, usually apple tea.
Most of the shops accept major credit cards, but have been known to incur a small charge for this service. You may also pay by using travellers cheques or your own currency, especially US. Dollars and sometimes this can improve your bargaining power.
Leather and Suede goods also offer bargains for everyone and the quality is superb. You can have shoes custom-made by small craftsman but more typical is the Turkish slipper.As for jewellery, the best finds are in the Bazaars. Gold is normally sold by the weight with something added for workmanship. Most of the gold is 14 carat.
Of all the things Turkey is renowned for, their carpets must be best known. Turkish carpets are steeped in the history and traditions of this fascinating Country. They were brought to the Mediterranean coast in the 12th Century and since than, the craftsmanship of weaving has been handed down from mother to daughter. The best carpets come from the small villages of Turkey, for example silk carpets come from Hereke, near Istanbul and wool carpets are woven in Yahyali, near Kayseri. Artificial colours are not used and only the finest silk, cotton and wool are used as weaving materials. When visiting Turkey why not meander leisurely through the bustling streets and step inside one of the many vividly colourful shops, selling these wonderfull, mystical carpets.
To look as though you know what you are doing when buying a carpet follow these simple guidelines:
• Turn the carpet over and look at the closeness of the weave.
• Ask how many knots per square centimetre and the tightness of the weave, the smaller the knots, the higherthe quality.
• Compare the colours on the front of the carpet, the pattern should be easily recognisable on the back.
Antiques. The export of antiques is prohibited. In order to avoid confiscation at customs upon your departure from Turkey, keep receipts of all purchases and be sure that the artifact you have bought is not classified as an object of historical value.