asked questions about visiting Turkey
I need a visa to visit
U.S. citizens must have a visa to enter
Turkey. U.S. citizens may obtain a visa upon entry into Turkey
or in prior to departure from one of the five Turkish
Consulates in the United States. Please find your state in the
Turkish Consulates Jurisdiction List. Business visas must be
issued prior to departure by Turkish consular offices.
Visas issued upon entry are valid for three
months. Visas for longer stays and for study, research or
employment must be obtained in advance.
Passengers in transit through Turkey who do
not leave their port of transit do not require visas.
Non-U.S citizens must apply for tourist or
business visas before traveling to Turkey. Applicants should
contact the relevant Turkish Consulate in person, by mail or
by a courier service.
Applicants outside the united States should
contact the nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate to learn
their visa requirements and procedures. Turkish missions
abroad are listed at
Is it safe to travel in
Turkey is one of the safest countries in
the world in which to travel, and its crime rate is low in
comparison to many Western European countries. Interpol ranked
Turkey as the safest holiday destination in Europe for
travelers. Naturally, we recommend that travelers to Turkey
exercise the same precautions they would elsewhere, and be
aware of security concerns that affect all international
The Turkish Government takes air safety
very seriously, and maintains strict oversight, particularly
on international flights. The U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) has places Turkey's civil aviation
authority in Category 1-in full compliance with international
aviation safety standards in overseeing Turkey's air carrier
operations. In the days following the September 11 attacks,
Turkish Airlines was one of the first international airlines
cleared by the FAA to fly into the United States.
Is it better to travel
independently or go to Turkey as a part of a group tour?
The best way to see and experience Turkey
depends on one's knowledge, experience, and personal
preferences. Touring is a safe way to experience new cultures
and to see new places with peace of mind. However, some
travelers may prefer to visit sites independently without the
confines of schedules and timetables.
Group tours are organized through tour
operators. There are many tour operators in the U.S. that
specialize in trips to Turkey. These can be found in Turkey:
The Travel Directory, which is produced and published by the
Ministry of Tourism. Most group tours are all-inclusive. This
means that transportation (air and ground), hotels, some meals,
and a guide are usually provided for a flat-fee. Guided tours
are highly recommended for those with an interest in history
and culture, since tour guides can enhance the traveler's
experience by sharing their in-depth knowledge of the places
Those who wish to travel independently can
make travel arrangements in advance through a tour operator.
Many tour operators will design customized individual
itineraries in which air transportation, hotel and car rental
reservations and other services are privately arranged to
match the specifications of the client. Some tour operators
offer fly/drive packages as well, in which airfare and rental
car services are provided as a package.
Travelers can also make their own hotel and
rental car reservations. The hotel guide web site
http://www.hotelguide.com.tr/ comprehensively lists
accommodation facilities throughout Turkey. Visitors may also
choose to use the services of local travel agencies in Turkey.
These agencies can arrange car and driver mini-tours, which
are very popular in many areas, including Istanbul, Ephesus,
Antalya and Cappadocia.
Turkey is a country of diverse scenery,
climate and historical monuments, so travelers are sometimes
overwhelmed by the number of places to visit. Some 15-day
itineraries are suggested in Turkey: The Travel Directory,
published by the Ministry of Tourism. For assistance in
planning your trip or any inquiries relating to your trip
consult Turkish Tourism Information Offices throughout Turkey.
Their addresses are listed in alphabetical order on the
Turkish Ministry of Tourism's web site at
What types of tours do tour
operators in the United States offer?
Tour operators listed in our guide, Turkey:
The Travel Directory, are Turkey specialists -- they have
extensive knowledge and experience in Turkish tourism. Some
exclusively offer trips to Turkey. Others offer trips to
Turkey in combination with other countries, such as Greece and
Italy. The companies listed in the Travel Directory can
provide a wide range of services including package tours, air
ticketing, rental car reservations, hotel reservations, day
tours, customized itineraries, guides, and more. Many
companies specialize in different areas of Turkish travel and
tourism. Almost all tours include western Turkey and focus on
historical and archeological sites. However, some tour
operators also offer tours of the Black Sea region and eastern
and southeastern Turkey. There are also special-interest tours
such as golf tours, photography tours, culinary tours,
trekking tours and more.
For a free copy of Turkey: The Travel
Directory please contact the Turkish Tourism Office in
Washington D.C. or New York. Tour operators are also listed on
our web site at
http://www.tourismturkey.org/ in alphabetical and state
When is the best time to
travel in Turkey?
The high season for travel in Turkey
generally runs between mid-April and late-October. During the
off-season, temperatures are much cooler and snow is possible
in mountainous areas. Many visitors enjoy the spring and fall,
with their mild weather and small crowds.
Coastal regions are particularly popular
with tourists during the summer. These include resort areas
along the Aegean and Mediterranean coast with beaches and
yachting facilities. The coastline, especially between Izmir
and Antalya, features numerous coves and bays and many nearby
ancient cities and is perfect for yachting. A large number of
international-quality marinas provide services for the
yachtsman. For active travelers, swimming, fishing, water-skiing,
surfing and diving are available.
Turkey also enjoys many spectacular rivers.
They are ideal for canoeing, skiing and rafting.
Mountaineering is also popular in mountain ranges throughout
Turkey in spring and summer.
The high plateaus of the Eastern Black Sea
Region are covered by colorful flowers and green pasture
during spring and summer. Naturalists will enjoy the diversity
of fauna and flora as well as the heart-stopping splendor of
the surrounding landscape.
Central and Eastern Turkey can receive
large accumulations of snow, and snow skiing is a favorite
winter pastime. Turkey has several ski centers, which are
generally open from December through April depending on snow
What are the Average Air and
Water Temperatures for Turkey's major cities?
Temperatures are given in oC (degrees
Celsius) in Turkey, which can be converted to oF (degrees
Fahrenheit) with the formula: oF = (9/5)oC + 32
|Average Air and Water Temperatures For
Major Cities in oF
The web site of the General Directorate of
the Turkish State Meteorological Service,
http://www.meteor.gov.tr/, gives current sea and air
temperatures, humidity and 3-day weather forecasts for all
cities in Turkey and for the holiday resorts of Alanya,
Anamur, Bodrum, Dalaman, Finike and Marmaris.
What is the best way to
travel to Turkey from the U.S.?
Most American visitors arrive in Turkey by
flying directly into Istanbul or aboard cruise ships, which
dock in ports including Istanbul, Kusadasi, and Izmir.
Visitors may arrive in Turkey by land at border crossings from
neighboring countries. There are also ferry connections from
several Greek islands to ports in mainland Turkey.
By Air: Turkish Airlines operates the
fastest non-stop flight from New York to Istanbul and the only
non-stop service from Chicago. Thanks to a code sharing
agreement with American Airlines you can connect to these
flights from 15 major US cities. Passengers can call Turkish
Airlines at 1-800-874-8875 or visit their new North American
web site at
http://www.flyturkish.com/ for reservations. Delta
Airlines is the only US-based carrier with non-stop service to
Turkey. Most European-based airlines fly from North America
with stopovers in Europe.
By Sea: Many cruise ships sailing in the
Eastern Mediterranean dock in Turkey. Cruise ships arrive at
customs entry points where it is easy to obtain a visa and
satisfy entry requirements. Major ports are Istanbul, Izmir,
Cesme, Kusadasi, Marmaris and Antalya. For a complete list of
cruise lines which sail to Turkey, contact the Turkish
Government Tourism Office in Washington D.C.
Passenger and automobile ferries between
Turkey and neighboring countries also provide entry by sea.
Ferry Lines between Turkey and the Greek
Islands run between Marmaris - Rhodes, Bodrum - Cos, Kusadasi
- Samos, Cesme - Chios and Ayvalik - Lesbos. These ferries run
regularly from April through October, and operate on a reduced
schedule in winter. Ferry schedules can be found at
http://www.tourismturkey.org/ in the facts for visitors
Turkish Maritime lines operates passenger
ferries between Turkey and Italy (Cesme-Brindisi) and between
Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (Mersin-Magosa).
Ferry schedules can be found on their web site at
There are also ferry services from Trabzon
on Turkey's Eastern Black Sea Coast to Sochi and from Istanbul
to Novosibirsk, both on Russia's Black Sea Coast. Ferry
services also operate between Istanbul and various Ukrainian
ports including Odessa, Yalta, Sevastopol and Yevpatorya.
Contact information for the companies operating these services
may be obtained from the Turkish Government Tourism Office in
By Land: Turkey has many border crossings
with its neighbors. Varan Bus Company operates regular bus
services between Istanbul-Athens and Istanbul-Vienna.
Schedules and fares can be found on their web site at
http://www.varan.com.tr/. In addition, Istanbul can be
reached by train directly from and via some of Europe's major
What are the most popular
travel destinations in Turkey?
From the perfect beaches and ancient ruins
of its coast to the pulse of its cosmopolitan cities, Turkey
is a study in contrasts. Visitors can lose themselves in the
magic of a historic palace before enjoying a world-class meal,
or swim amidst Roman ruins before continuing their journey in
the comfort of a state-of-the-art yacht.
Whatever your fancy, there are countless
things to see and do in Turkey. Istanbul, the largest city in
Turkey, serves as the gateway for most travelers. Istanbul is
the only city in the world that sits on two continents and it
offers an abundance of fascinating attractions for visitors.
Some of Istanbul's most popular sites include the Bosphorus
Strait, the Blue Mosque, Haghia Sophia, Topkapi Palace,
Dolmabahce Palace, the Kariye Museum, the Underground Cistern,
Galata Tower, the Tower of Leander, the Princes' Islands and
the Grand Bazaar.
From Canakkale Bogazi, also known as the
Dardanelles, to the fairytale Crusader castle and sunny
beaches of Bodrum, the Aegean shores of Turkey are among the
loveliest landscapes in Turkey. The highlights of an Aegean
tour are Troy, the site of the legendary Trojan War and its
wooden horse; ancient Pergamon, once a great center of culture
and now one of Turkey's finest archeological sites; Ephesus,
the capital of Roman Asia Minor, dedicated to the goddess
Artemis whose temple was one of the Seven Wonders of the
Ancient World; Aphrodisias, the center of the greatest school
of sculpture in antiquity; Pamukkale, a unique fairyland of
dazzlingly white calcified castles; and Kusadasi, a charming
coastal town with a long, palm-lined waterfront and beautiful
Antalya province on the Mediterranean coast
is Turkey's principal holiday region. It is a paradise for
sunbathing, swimming and sports. Best of all, Antalya serves
as a convenient hub for nearby archeological attractions.
Ancient theatres can be found in a remarkable state of
preservation at Aspendos and Perge and visitors can tour the
sunken city of Simena in Kekova. Remains of ancient Lycian
cities such as Patara, Letoon, Xanthos, Myra and Apollonia are
also within easy traveling distance. These are among the most
fascinating sites on the Anatolian Peninsula.
Cappadocia in Central Anatolia is one of
the most fantastic landscapes in the world and one of the most
popular tourist destinations in Turkey. The area's early
Christian inhabitants utilized its remarkable rock formations
to create more than 220 churches and numerous underground
cities in which they took refuge from their persecutors.
Other popular destinations include
Safranbolu in the Black Sea Region, an open-air museum of
traditional Turkish houses; Mount Nemrut in southeastern
Turkey, where enormous stone statues of deities commemorate
the first century BC Commagene Kingdom. Konya in Central
Anatolia was home to the great Islamic philosopher Mevlana
Celaleddin Rumi who in the 13th century founded the Mevlevi
Order known as the Whirling Dervishes. Each year in early
December, the white-robed Mevlevi commemorate the death of
Mevlana with their trance-like turning dance or sema - an
amazing sight to behold.
What attractions does Turkey
offer related to religious history and issues of faith?
History has been incredibly generous to
Turkey, which has been vital in the history of the three major
Western religions -- Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Turkey
is one of a few countries where all three religions have
co-existed peacefully for centuries. There are a many
important sites in Turkey of interest to people of all faiths.
More and more people are discovering the important role
Turkey played in the history of Christianity. Travelers can
discover many magnificent churches, some nearly as old as
Christianity itself, and can retrace the footsteps of Saints
Peter and Paul from the Biblical city of Antioch to the
underground churches of Cappadocia. Many of the most important
events in Christian history occurred in Turkey.
Born in Tarsus, the Apostle Paul spread the
word of Jesus Christ across Anatolia, expanding Christianity's
reach from a predominantly Jewish base to Gentile communities.
Not far from Tarsus on Turkey's Eastern
Mediterranean coast is Antakya, known in biblical times as
Antioch. This ancient city was founded around 300 B.C. and was
home to the first important Christian community, founded in 42
AD by St. Paul. Jesus' followers were first called
"Christians" in Antioch and from here Christianity spread to
the world. St. Paul departed from Antioch on his three
missionary journeys. The city holds the Church of St. Peter, a
cave-church where the apostles Peter and Paul are believed to
have preached. In 1963, the Vatican designated the site a
place of pilgrimage and recognized it as the world's first
The "Seven Churches of Asia Minor," a
series of communities located near the Aegean coast, is where
St. Paul visited, preached and built the early church. Their
ancient names - Ephesus (Efes), Smyrna (Izmir), Thyatira
(Akhisar), Sardis (Sart), Philadelphia (Alasehir), Laodicea
(Eskihisar) and Pergamon (Bergama) are familiar from the New
Testament's Book of Revelation.
Ephesus, perhaps the most prominent of the
Seven Churches, is where St. Paul wrote his letters to the
Ephesians, and where St. John the Evangelist brought the
Virgin Mary to spend her last years. The Vatican recognizes
the Virgin Mary's house, located in the hills near Ephesus, as
a shrine. Just outside Ephesus, in Selcuk, is the Basilica of
St. John where he preached and is believed to be buried.
Many other regions in Turkey offer a wealth
of attractions to the Christian traveler. St. Nicholas was
born and lived in Demre on the Mediterranean coast. A church
dedicated to the original Santa Claus still stands. Visitors
to the biblical area of Cappadocia, located in Central
Anatolia, can explore more than 200 carved rock churches
beautifully decorated with frescoes depicting early Christian
motifs, and a seven-story underground city where Christians
took refuge from their persecutors.
The stunning Monastery of the Virgin Mary
located near the Black Sea in Trabzon is a well-known monastic
center dating to the 4th century. Built on the edge of a l200
foot cliff and accessible only by foot, it housed some of the
Orthodox Church's greatest thinkers.
Istanbul became the center of Christianity
in 330 AD and it was here that the largest church in
Christendom at the time, Haghia Sophia or the Church of the
Divine Wisdom, was dedicated by Emperor Justinian in 536 AD.
The Kariye Museum, a Greek Orthodox Church from the 11th and
14th centuries, is famous for its incomparable Byzantine
frescoes and mosaics.
Judaism has had a continuous presence in Turkey since
ancient times. Signs written in Hebrew and menorahs carved
into stone at historical sites such as Ephesus, Kusadasi,
Priene, Hieropolis, and Pamukkale attest to long history of
Jews in Turkey. In Sardis, near Izmir, the remains of the
largest ancient synagogue in existence date to the 3rd century
AD. Its frescoes and mosaics suggest a large, well-established
and successful Jewish community in Sardis.
According to the legend of the great flood,
Noah's Ark ran aground at Mount Agri (Ararat). When the
floodwaters receded, Noah and his family descended from the
mountain to the fertile Igdir Plain and repopulated the world.
Jewish Patriarchs Abraham and Job also made
their mark in eastern Turkey. Sanli Urfa in southeastern
Turkey is known as the city of Prophets. A cave there is said
to be the birthplace of the prophet Abraham. It has become a
place of pilgrimage and is now surrounded by the Halil Rahman
Mosque. The Prophet Job, who was famed for his patience, is
believed to have spent seven years recovering from illness
inside another cave located in the district of Eyyübiye two
kilometers south of Sanli Urfa.
Jews have enjoyed tolerance and peace in
Turkey for centuries. After the Jewish communities in Spain
and Portugal were exiled in 1492 during the Inquisition,
Sultan Beyazit II welcomed them to the Ottoman Empire. As a
result, many Jewish communities still thrive in modern Turkey.
Istanbul is of particular significance to
Jewish visitors. In the city's old Jewish Quarter is the 19th
century Neve Shalom Synagogue, the Zulfaris Jewish Museum and
nearby, the 15th century Ahrida Synagogue. The first Jewish
printing press began operating in Istanbul in 1493 and Jewish
literature and music flourished during this period.
In Bursa, a short drive south of Istanbul,
visitors will find the Gerus Synagogue, built at the end of
the 15th century by the first Jews who settled in the city
after being expelled from Spain. The name of the synagogue in
Hebrew means, "Expelled". Izmir, located on the Aegean coast,
has several synagogues, including Beth Israel Synagogue;
Bikour Holim Synagogue, named in memory of an epidemic when
city hospitals were so full that synagogues were used to house
the sick, and Giveret Synagogue, rebuilt after an 1841 fire.
Visitors to Turkey are often touched by the call to
prayer from lofty minarets. The call is heard five times a
day, inviting the faithful to face towards Mecca and pray from
the Koran. Although Turkey is a secular democracy which
guarantees freedom of religion for all people, Islam is the
country's predominant religion. People of all faiths may visit
Islam's roots in Turkey date to the 10th
Century. In the ensuing centuries Seljuk and Ottoman Turks
constructed impressive mosques with elegant interior
decorations and imposing domes and minarets. Virtually every
Turkish city has a mosque of historical or architectural
significance. Sultanahmet Mosque in Istanbul stands as perhaps
the most impressive. Built between 1609 and 1616 in the
classic Ottoman style, the building is more familiarly known
as the Blue Mosque because of its magnificent interior
paneling of blue and white Iznik tiles. The Suleymaniye Mosque
is the largest in Istanbul. It was built between 1550 and
1557by Suleyman the Magnificent, the greatest sultan of the
Other cities also have impressive Islamic
architecture. The Ulu Cami (Grand Mosque) with its 20 domes
and Yesil Cami (Green Mosque) in Bursa, was constructed
between 1419 and 1420. The mosque derives its name from the
exquisite green and turquoise tiles in its interior. Haci
Bayram Mosque in Ankara was built in the early 15th century in
the Seljuk style and was subsequently restored by the master
Ottoman architect Sinan in the 16th century. Selimiye Mosque
in Edirne reflects the classical Ottoman style and Sinan's
Konya ranks as one of the great cultural
centers of Turkey. As the capital of the Seljuk Turks from the
12th to the 13th centuries Konya was a center of cultural,
political and religious growth. During this period, the mystic
Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi founded a Sufi Order known in the West
as the Whirling Dervishes. Mevlana's striking green-tiled
mausoleum is Konya's most famous attraction. Attached to the
mausoleum, the former dervish seminary now serves as a museum
housing manuscripts of Mevlana's works and various artifacts
related to the mystic sect.
How can I travel in Turkey?
Virtually every major city in Turkey has air service
and Turkish Airlines offers nationwide services. Most flights
connect through Istanbul or Ankara, both of which have
domestic and international terminals. You can check Turkish
Airlines' schedules and book flights at
http://www.turkishairlines.com/ or call them toll-free in
the U.S. at 1 800 874 8875.
Busses are an efficient and affordable way to travel in
Turkey. Private bus companies provide frequent day and night
services between all Turkish cities. Local Tourism Information
Offices usually have bus schedules for their regions; their
addresses can be found at
http://www.turizm.gov.tr/ by clicking on "Tourism
The major bus lines have spacious,
comfortable coaches, and offer coffee, tea and snacks. The two
largest bus companies' web sites,
http://www.ulusoy.com.tr/, provide routes, schedules,
ticket prices, and office addresses.
The extensive Turkish State Railways network connects
most major cities. On some trains, sleeping compartments are
available. Detailed train schedules and prices as well as
reservation telephone numbers and authorized ticket agents are
listed on their web site at
http://www.tcdd.gov.tr/. Transportation From and To the
Havas airport busses are a convenient and
affordable alternative to taxis for transportation from
airports to downtown areas or from downtown areas to airports
in Turkey. You can find detailed information about the
How can I travel to eastern
or southeastern Turkey?
Several specialized tour operators offer
organized tours to Eastern and Southeastern Turkey. A list of
these tour operators can be obtained from the Washington, D.C.
Turkish Government Tourism Office. It is also possible to rent
a car in Turkey and drive to these areas. However, during
winter some parts of Eastern Anatolia can be quite cold and
snowy. Roads are not always passable. Therefore, it is
generally recommended that visitors travel to these regions as
part of an organized tour during the summer.
Where should I stay in
Turkey offers a wide array of comfortable
and modern lodgings to fit any budget. Larger cities such as
Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, offer a range of international
chain hotels, as well as many charming locally run Turkish
properties. Seaside resorts on the Aegean and Mediterranean
coasts and other popular tourism destinations abound with
hotels, pensions and holiday villages. Many of the Turkey tour
specialists listed in our guide can make hotel reservations.
The Ministry of Tourism licenses a number
of hotels throughout the country. Rated from one to five
stars, they must meet standards set forth by the Ministry.
Renovated and refurbished Ottoman mansions, 19th century
wooden houses and other historic buildings now operate as
special licensed hotels. The Turkish Tourism Offices can
provide a Hotel Guide that lists numerous hotels licensed by
the Ministry of Tourism. Licensed hotels and other licensed
accommodations in any city in Turkey can also be found at
http://www.hotelguide.com.tr/ for a comprehensive list of
hotels in all regions of Turkey sorted in alphabetical order.
How should visitors dress in
Casual wear is appropriate for most tour
excursions. Women wear pants or skirts, but when visiting
mosques it is recommended that they cover their heads with a
scarf and both sexes should not wear shorts out of respects
for religious customs.
How can I hire a guide?
Guides can be pre-arranged prior to
departure through any of the Turkey tour specialists, or can
easily be hired upon arrival in Turkey. Most hotels offer
concierge services, which can provide reliable guides to their
guests for an affordable fee. The advantage of hiring a guide
through your hotel is that the guide will usually have a long
history of working successfully with the hotel and its
previous guests. However, visitors may also go to any local
travel agency in Turkey and make arrangements on the spot.
Should I exchange money
before I go to Turkey?
The highly favorable exchange rate makes
travel to Turkey extremely affordable. Most banks in the U.S.
do not have Turkish Lira. However, Turkish currency is easily
obtainable upon arrival in Turkey at any exchange office or
bank. Daily exchange rates can be obtained from the Turkish
Central Bank web site at
http://www.tcmb.gov.tr/. This site is in both Turkish and
English, and gives links to all Turkish Banks. Turkish daily
newspapers also publish daily exchange rates.
There are ATM machines throughout Turkey,
particularly in larger cities and tourist centers. Credit
cards are accepted by hotels and most merchants.
Are any vaccinations
required for tourists entering Turkey?
There are no vaccination requirements for
any international traveler.
The World Health Organization web site,
http://www.who.org/, provides vaccination certificate
requirements by country, geographic distributions of potential
health hazards to travelers and information on health risks
and their avoidance (click on "Travelers' Health").
Is it safe to drink tap
water in Turkey?
Turkey practices safe sanitation standards,
and tap water is suitable for bathing and regular tasks such
as brushing teeth. However, as is customary in most
Mediterranean countries, the majority of locals and visitors
drink bottled water. We recommend that visitors follow local
custom and drink bottled water, which is routinely served with
What is a Turkish bath
Communal baths were used in Roman and
Byzantine times, but as the name "Turkish Bath" suggests, they
played a significant role in Ottoman culture. At a time when
the concept of cleanliness was not yet accepted in Europe, the
Turks were very fastidious due to Islam's emphasis on
cleanliness. Countless baths were built in the typical Ottoman
architectural style throughout the empire. Unfortunately, few
have survived to the present. Cagaloglu Hamami and Cemberlitas
Hamami, both in Istanbul, are very popular with tourists.
A classic bath usually has three sections:
changing rooms, a hot room and a cold room. After entering the
hamam and exchanging one's clothes for a "pestamal" or towel,
you then proceed to the "gobek tasi", a large heated stone
where you perspire and are rubbed down by a bath attendant. If
the heat proves too much, you can retire to a cooler room.
This method of bathing is the most refreshing.
What to buy in Turkey and
where to buy it?
Shopping is one of the great pleasures of a
trip to Turkey and the rich variety of Turkish crafts makes it
impossible to resist buying something. Fine apparel of silk,
cotton, leather and wool; artful jewelry; leather accessories;
brilliant faience (colored tiles); vessels of copper, brass,
marble, meerschaum and alabaster worked by master artisans;
and of course heirloom-quality Turkish carpets and kilims, are
among the most popular purchases. Great value and an enjoyable
shopping experience can be found everywhere, from small towns
to big cities. Visit the "What to buy" section at
http://www.turizm.gov.tr/ to discover shopping
opportunities in each province.
Unique regional handicrafts make shopping
that much more enjoyable. Traditional Turkish handicrafts
crafts including carpets, ceramics and pottery, tiles, copper
items, woodcarvings, decorative glass, and embroidery are a
major component of Turkish culture. They are a stunning
reflection of Turkey's diverse cultural heritage and thousands
of years of history. For more information on Turkish
http://www.kultur.gov.tr/ (click on Culture, then
The Turkish Ministry of Culture's Revolving
Capital Administration (DOSIM) promotes production of
Anatolian handcrafts. DOSIM markets those products through its
13 Cultural Products Sales Centers located throughout the
country. Please visit
http://www.kultur.gov.tr/ and click on "DOSIM Shopping" to
find out more about DOSIM and the locations of their Sales
The Touring and Automobile Club of Turkey
(TURING) has restored the old Cedid Mehmet Efendi Medresesi in
Sultanahmet and now operates it as the Istanbul Handicrafts
Center. The center's aim is to revive dying crafts and show
visitors how these arts and crafts were performed. Each of its
rooms is devoted to a traditional Turkish craft, such as
producing marbled paper, calligraphy, painting miniatures,
making lace, pinking and embroidering. There is also
traditional bookbinding, and a glass and porcelain atelier.
For more information, visit their web site at
http://www.turing.org.tr/ (click on "Cultural
Institutions" then "Istanbul Handicraft Center").
The Grand Bazaar, or "Kapalicarsi," in
Istanbul is a unique combination of fantastic merchandise and
a memorable shopping experience. The Grand Bazaar is a maze of
some 4,000 shops, selling treasures of every type. Still the
commercial center of the old city, the Grand Bazaar's 80 roads
and streets form the original shopping mall. For more
http://www.grand-bazaar.com/, where you can find a map of
the Grand Bazaar and a list of shops.
Where can I find information
on Festivals, Fairs and other Events in Turkey?
There are more than 100 festivals in Turkey
every year. In addition to the local festivals organized in
almost every city of the country, international culture and
art festivals are held in major cities including Istanbul,
Ankara, Izmir and Antalya. Istanbul is the most important
center in Turkey of international culture and art festivals.
Information on the principle Turkish
international art and culture festivals and other important
events can be found at www.turkey.org (click on Travel and
and Weather section) The Istanbul Culture and Art
Foundation's web site,
http://www.istfest.org/, gives detailed information on
their festivals in Istanbul.
In recent years, Turkey has been very
popular with the congress tourism market, and Turkey hosts
more congresses, fairs and conventions every year. With over
50 airlines flying to Turkey and most major European cities
just a two or three hour flight away, Istanbul has become the
venue of choice for many conventions and exhibitions. Istanbul
offers the 5,000-person capacity Istanbul Convention &
Exhibition Center (ICEC), two fair and exhibition halls, the
International Exhibition Center (CNR) and the Fair and
Congress Center (TUYAP), and numerous five star hotels with
convention facilities. Istanbul can host 25,000 conference and
exhibition delegates and visitors at any one time. For more
information on ICEC, CNR, TUYAP and for a calendar of fairs
and exhibitions at these centers, visit their web sites:
A list and a calendar of all fairs
throughout Turkey can be found at
http://www.igeme.org.tr/ (the calendar of fairs is in