Turkey

Translated by: John Agrafiotis

Last updated: Dec 21, 2020 @ 7:39 pm

Currency: Turkish Lira (TRY), 1€=14.40 TRY.
Driving license: Foreigners visiting Turkey as tourists and staying up to 90 days may drive in Turkey with their valid driving license, regardless of its country of issue. Having an International Driving License/Permit (IDL/P) is optional but not obligatory, unless the foreign license does not have an identity photograph.
Visa – Passport: Check this site.
Border crossing: Easy border crossing with Bulgaria and Greece (in busy borders expect some delays). Expect delays at borders with Georgia (near Black sea), because of the heavy traffic, but there is another smaller border station southern, easier to cross. Unfortunately the road is rural. Borders with Armenia are closed due to tensions between both countries. No info about Azerbaijan (Nakhchivan), Iran, Iraq and Syria.
Insurance: Green Card is accepted.
Time Zone: GMT +2
Banks: ATMs dispense new Turkish lira to Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro card holders. Look for these logos on the machines; they can be found in most towns. Almost all the machines offer instructions in English, French and German. You can usually withdraw about €350 per day. Most credit cards are accepted in big cities.
Fuel: Unleaded 95 (kursunsuz) costs about 0,76€ (12/2020). Fuel stations operate 24h a day on highways and from 6:00 to 22:00 in other areas. Credit cards are widely accepted.
Lights: You must have your headlights turned on during the day.
Equipment: Drivers and passengers must wear crash helmets.
Maximum Allowed Blood Alcohol Level: 0,05%
Speed Limits: 50 km/h in built up areas, 90 km/h on open roads, 120 km/h on motorways. There are lots of speed traps on the roads. Opposite driving vehicles will alert you by flashing their lights. There is an old Turkish law, saying that the max speed limit for motorcycles is 75 km/h and I have read that some officers stick to it sometimes.
Fines: Traffic and parking fines for foreigners must be paid at borders only.
Tolls: All of Turkey’s toll highways and bridges are being converted to the High-Speed Toll System (Hızlı Geçiş Sistemi, “Fast Transit System,” or HGS) to increase the speed of traffic flow. This means that you cannot pay tolls with cash or credit card! Your vehicle, whether private or rented/hired, must have an electronic toll-payment device.
You can purchase an HGS card at many banks and post offices (PTT). You need to show your vehicle registration card and your passport. The sticker costs 5 Turkish lira and you must add an initial sum of 40 lira to your account.
Signs: Motorways: Green signs, Other roads: Blue signs, Archeological sites: Brown signs.
Useful Phone Numbers:
Ambulance: 112
Police: 155
Gendarmery: 156 (for rural areas)
Fire Department: 110
Tourism Info: 170
Useful Phrases:
Bozuk satih – Rough surface
Dikkat – Attention
Dur – Stop
Park yapilmaz – No parking
Tamirat – Roadworks
Giremez – No entry
Tek yon – One way
Yavas – Slow
Yaya gecidi – Pedestrian crossing
Yol kapali – Road closed
Giris: Entrance
Cikis: Exit

Useful Links:
Wikitravel Turkey
Go Turkey official tourism portal
Lonely Planet Turkey

Related trips:
Sailing East (In Greek language)
Motorcycle diaries: “Trip to Turkey” (in Greek language)
Balkan Express: the joy of the road (in Greek language)
From Pindos to Turkey (in Greek language)
Turkey (in Greek language)
Travelling to Turkey (in Greek language)
In ancient Greece of a neighboring country (in Greek language)

* If you are from Turkey or have been recently in Turkey and you would like to add some information or correct some of the above listed, do not hesitate to contact us.

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