Where Should I Stay in Turkey




kaleici antalya

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.




Disabled Travellers in Turkey




disabled travellers

If you have any queries relating to any-special needs for your holiday, it is best to check direct with us and/ or your tour operator before booking your holiday. The resorts which are located in relatively flat areas and are therefore, better suited to wheelchair users are: Marmaris, Icmeler, Dalyan, Fethiye/ Kas Beach, Side. Anyone who has difficulty in walking should certainly avoid resorts on steep hills such as Kalkan and Tuning. Obviously, hotel locations vary so do check before booking.




Some of the newer and larger hotels have rooms specifically designed for wheelchair users, however, even where hotels do not have specific facilities they will usually try their best to be helpful by, for example, allocating a ground floor room. Many Turkish resorts and cities are not planned for wheelchair access, which can make life difficult, however, you will find that Turks always try their best to be helpful and will gladly improvise to find a solution.




Should I Exchange Money Before I go to Turkey




Turkish Lira Banknot

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 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.




How Can I Hire a Guide in Turkey




tourist 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.




Is it safe to drink tap water in Turkey




tap water

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 any meal.




Fascinating Facts Illustrating Turkey’s Rich Heritage




istanbul

As an ancient land and modern nation, Turkey today holds and protects the common past of all people.

The only city in the world located on two continents is Istanbul, which has been the capital of three great empires – Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman – for more than 2000 years.

Istanbul is the only city in the world located on two continents Europe and Asia. During its 25,000 year history, it has been the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires.

The number of archaelogical excavations going on in Turkey every year is at least 150.

The oldest known human settlement is in Catalhoyuk, Turkey (7500 B.C.).

Ephesus and Halicarnassus – two of the seven wonders of the ancient world – are in Turkey.

Anatolia is the birthplace of historic legends, such as Homer (the poet), King Midas, Heredotus (the father of history), and St. Paul the Apostle.

Julius Caesar proclaimed his celebrated words, “Veni, Vidi, Vici” (I came, I saw, I conquered) in Turkey when he defeated the Pontus, a formidable kingdom in the Black Sea region of Turkey.

The famous Trojan Wars took place in western Turkey, around the site where a wooden statue of the Trojan Horse rests today.

The first church built by man (St. Peter’s Church) is in Antioch (Antakya), Turkey.

The Amazons originated in Turkey’s Northeastern region.

The First Ecumenical Council was held in Iznik, Turkey.

Writing was first used by people in ancient Anatolia. The first clay tablets – in the ruins of Assyrian Karum (merchant colony) – date back to 1950 B.C.

Prophet Abraham was born in Sanliurfa in Southeast Turkey.

St. Nicholas, known as Santa Claus today, was born and lived in Demre (Myra) on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. The village contains the famous Church of St. Nicholas, which contains the sarcophagus believed to be his tomb.

Many archeologists and biblical scholars believe Noah’s Ark landed on Agri Dagi (Mount Ararat) in eastern Turkey.

The last meal on Noah’s Ark, a pudding with nearly 40 ingredients, is still served throughout Turkey.

The last home of Virgin Mary is in Selcuk, Turkey.

St. John, St. Nicholas, St. Paul and St. Peter have all lived and prayed in Southern Anatolia.

Part of Turkey’s Southwestern Shore was a wedding gift that Mark Anthony gave to Cleopatra.

The first man ever to fly was Turkish. Using two wings, Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi flew from the Galata Tower over the Bosphorus to land in Uskudar in the 17th century.

Homer was born in Izmir on the west coast of Turkey and he depicted Troy in his Epic the Iliad.

Suleyman the Magnificent (the famous Ottoman Sultan) was a poet who wrote over 3000 poems some of them criticising the greed of mankind.

One of the biggest and best preserved theatres of antiquity seating 15,000 is Aspendos on the southern coast of Turkey where international music festivals are held each year.

Aesop – famous all over the world for his fables and parables – was born in Anatolia.

Leonardo da Vinci drew designs for a bridge over the Bosphorus, the strait that flows through Europe and Asia. (It was never built then; but now there are two Bosphorus bridges.).

President Woodrow Wilson was fond of telling some of the tales of Nasreddin Hoca (13th century Turkish wit and raconteur; UNESCO has declared a “Nasreddin Hoca year”, 1996-1997).

Alexander the Great conquered a large territory in what is now Turkey – and cut the Gordion Knot in the Phrygian capital (Gordium) not far from Turkey’s present day capital (Ankara).




Greek Cynic philosopher Diogenes was born in Sinop on Turkey’s Black Sea Coast.

Croesus – whose name is synonymous with great wealth – had his kingdom (Lydia) in Western Turkey.

Smallpox vaccination was introduced to England and Europe from Turkey by Lady Montagu in early 18th century (after Turkish phsycians saved her son’s life).

Istanbul’s Robert College, established in 1863, is the oldest American School outside the United States.

Throughout history Anatolia – land of Turks has been a bridge between Europe and Asia where people of different origins have come together and mingled with the ones already settled each time creating a new sythesis.

Early Christians escaping Roman persecution nearly 2000 years ago sheltered in Cappadocia in Central Anatolia.

In 1492 Sultan Beyazid II, learning about the expulsion of Jews dispatched the Ottoman Navy to bring the Jews safely to the Ottoman lands. Like wise Jews expelled from Hungary in 1376; from Sicily early in the 15th century; from Bavaria in 1470; from Bohemia in 1542 and from Russia in 1881, 1891, 1897, 1903 all took refuge in the Ottoman Empire.

As it was the case during the Bolshevik revolution, Turkey served as a safe passage an haven for those fleeing their native countries during the World War II, Turkey was one of the few countries in the world which welcomed the Jewish refugees escaping the horros of Nazism.

During the Gulf War in 1991, Turkey welcomed nearly half a million Kurds from Northern Iraq, who were fleeing the torment of Saddam.

Turkey provided homes for some 313,000 Bulgarian refugees of Turkish origin expelled from their homelands in Bulgaria in 1989.

According to Turkish tradition a stranger at one’s doorstep is considered “A Guest from ALLAH” and should be accommodated accordingly.




What types of tours do tour operators in the United States offer?




girl tower istanbul

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.