The official language in Turkey is Turkish. However, English is widely spoken in the resorts and in the big cities.
Turkey is officially known as Republic of Turkey.
Turkey is on Eastern European Time, which means GMT+2. Daylight saving time starts on the last Sunday of March and ends on the last Sunday of October . When DST starts the clocks move ahead and fall back one hour when DST ends.
Counting and numbers
Dates in Turkey, as well as in entire Europe, are written with the day first, then the month, then the year. Hence, 17/03/08 is the 17th of March in the year 2008.
With written numbers, commas and decimal points are swapped from what you might be used to in the US. So, twenty Turkish Liras and thirty cents is written 20,30 and three thousand five hundred Turkish Lira is written 3.500 YTL.
Turkey uses the Metric system for measurements and Celsius for temperatures.
You can find a conversion tool here.
Electricity and plugs
The power supply in Turkey is 220V/50Hz. You might require an adaptor for the round tow-pins sockets used in Turkey unless your electronic appliance takes 100-240V. Otherwise, if you live in a country with 110V electricity –like US- make sure to bring an adapter with you. You also might need a transformer to be able to use your electrical appliances. The plugs are also different than the ones in the US, so you will need an adapter.
Make sure to carefully read the information on your electrical appliances –laptop, camera, so on –before you plug them anywhere.
Turkey’s currency is New Turkish Lira (YTL). The new lira is divided into 100 new kuruş. The coins include 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 new kuruş and 1 new lira denominations. The banknotes denominations include 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 new lira.
Because of the chronic inflation, on January 1, 2005 the New Turkish Lira replaced the old currency at a rate of 1 new lira = 1000000 old lira. It’s been reported that the term “new” won’t be use starting 2009 and there will be new banknotes as well.
Check this conversion rate tool before planning your vacation.
Banks and ATMs
There are ATMs all over Turkey so it’s easy to travel only with your credit or debit card. Just remember to withdraw money before you head to a remote location. It’s better to exchange money at exchange offices and post offices rather than the bank though. Cashing travelers cheques can be a hassles and the rates are lower, so leave those at home.
You can use foreign currency in Turkey in most tourist areas, hotels and shops.
Note: if you are left without money you can call home and ask money to be sent via Western Union. You can find a lot of banks which offer such transfers.
Using the telephone
The country code for Turkey is 90. To call Turkey from the U.S., you will first need to dial out of the U.S. and then into Turkey – so that is 011 + 90 and then the phone number itself (using the local area code). To call to Spain from another European country, you will dial 00 + 90 and then the local number or just +90 and the local number. To call a Turkey number from within Turkey, simply dial the local number as you have it. To call the U.S. from within Turkey, dial 00 + 1 and then the area code and telephone number.
Most travelers prefer to use their mobile phones when they travel, which is easy since you just need to activate the roaming feature. That’s very useful if your mobile carrier is a widely used one and you will be able to get really good deals when using the roaming feature. Turkey uses GSM 900/1800 mobile phones, a system which is compatible with the rest of Europe, but not with North America or Japan.
Public phones in Turkey use phone cards. There are three types of cards but the fares are quite high. You are better off if someone calls you in Turkey –at the hotel-rather than vice-versa.
Useful telephone numbers
Citizens of the following countries need a visa to enter Turkey: USA , Albania, Australia, Austria , Azerbaijan , Bahrain , Belarus , Belgium , Armenia, Estonia, Greek Cypriot Adm., Netherlands , Hong Kong (BNO) , United Kingdom , Ireland, Spain, Canada , Lithuania, Hungary, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Fed., Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Jordan, Malta, Oman, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Dominican Republic , Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Maldives, St. Christopher Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
In order to apply for the visa the traveler needs to have: valid passport, one recent passport-size photo, application form and fee (varies for different nationals).
>>more information on Turkey Entry Visa