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Travel tips


Capital : Ankara
Land area : 783.562 km²
Population : 79.749.461
Prime minister since 2003 : Recep Tayyip Erdogan
President since 2007 : Abdulla Gül


Alarm numbers:

Ambulance : 112
Fire brigade : 110
Police : 155
Jandarma : 156


Alarm number for tourists:

In order to avoid any misunderstandings, the Turkish authorities have set up alarm number 184 specifically for tourists! This service is available in German, English, Russian and several other languages. 
Doctors and other professionals, fluent in these languages, work in the call centre! The call centre is 24/7 available.


Dutch embassy:

Ambassador : Jan-Paul Dirkse
Address : Turan Gunes Bulv.
  : Hollanda Caddesi no. 5
    06550 Ankara
Telephone : +90 312 409 18 00
Fax : +90 312 409 18 98
E-mail address :
Website :


Honorary Consulate Antalya:

Honorary Consul : S. Titiz
Telephone/fax : +90 242 321 13 47


Public holidays in 2012:

  1 January : New Year's Day
23 April : Independence Day
19 May : Atatürk's birthday
19 t/m 21 August : Ramadan (Month of fasting)
26 t/m 28 October : Kurban Bayrami (festival of sacrifice)
28 t/m 29 October : Republic Day



The official language is Turkish. A dictionary can often prove to be very useful! However, in the places most frequented by tourists, many people speak reasonable German and English and sometimes even Dutch and Russian.


Travel documents:

Turkey requires all tourists to carry a valid passport or European identity card at all times. This document must be valid for at least 3 months after the departure date. On entering Turkey you must buy a visa. A visa costs €15,- per person and it is advisable to pay this with the exact cash. The visa is valid for a 90 day stay in Turkey within a periode of 180 days.

Residence permit or work permit for Turkey:

- Residence permit
If you wish to stay in Turkey for a longer period, then you can apply for an extension of your visa or for a residence permit (Yabancilara Mahsus Ikamet Tezkeresi) by the Foreign Police in Antalya or by the Turkish Consulate in the Netherlands. First time applicants are issued with a 1 year residence permit. The fee for a residence permit has been lowered to 136 Turkish Lira since 1st April 2011.


- Work permit
A work permit is more difficult to obtain than a residence permit. In order to be eligible for a work permit in Turkey you need to have be employed by a Turkish employer or to be an entrepreneur.



Since 2005 the official currency in Turkey is the YTL=Yeni Turk Lyrasi (New Turkish Lira). Euro and Russian dollars are also generally accepted. Know what the current exchange rate is, as this can change from day to day and money changers will often use a rate of 1 to 2. It is advisable to first change your
foreign currency to Liras (YTL). Most cities have an abundance of Bureau de Change offices, who offer the current exchange rate. In these offices only cash can be exchanged and you cannot change money using ATMs! Banks and shopping centres have ATMs where Liras can be withdrawn. Restaurants and big shops also accept payment with a debit card, credit card or Visa. If you are travelling inland in Turkey then we would advise you to pay in cash with Liras.



It is customary to leave a tip of 10% in restaurants, hotels, taxis and to tour guides.



- Money

There is no limit to the amount of cash that may be brought into Turkey. This can be Euro, Turkish Lira or any other currency. There are limits to the cash amount that may be transported out of Turkey – no more than the equivalent of 5.000 US dollars. Sometimes there are exceptions made to this rule. If you are not resident in Turkey, or are a Turkish citizen resident in another country then this restriction is lifted. However, in order to remove this amount from the country you must first have brought it into the country. Also, if you are resident in Turkey you are allowed to remove larger amounts of foreign currency from Turkey. You must be able to provide bank statements which show where this money originated. There are no limits applied to the amount of money that may be digitally transferred abroad.


- Tobacco, alcohol, perfume, coffee/tea, chocolate and candy

The following limits per person apply:

  • 200 cigarette and 50 cigarillos and 10 cigars and 200 gram loose tobacco (with 200 cigarette papers) of 200 gram pipe, chewing or waterpipe tobacco or 50 gram of snuff
  • 1 bottle of 100 cc or 2 bottles of 70 or 75 cc alcoholic drink
  • 5 bottles of eau de cologne, lavender water, perfume and lotion of max. 120 ml
  • 1 kilo coffee
  • 1 kilo instant coffee
  • 500 gram tea
  • 1 kilo chocolate
  • 1 kilo candy

It is forbidden for people under 18 years of age to carry tobacco and alcohol.


- Medicines

You are permitted to carry however as much medicine if necessary for personal use. Bring your European Medical Passport with you. This can be obtained at your pharmacy or doctor. It is possible that not all medicines are allowed, your pharmacy will be able to provide further information.


- Gifts

You may bring gifts and family possessions into Turkey as long as these are intended for personal, and not commercial use. The 'Officer of Undersecretary' has the authority to investigate and ascertain that you follow these rules.


The combined value of these articles may not exceed €300,- per person. For younger travellers under 15 years of age this combined value may not exceed €145,- If you bring articles exceeding €300,- or €145,- in value, but less than €1.500,- then you will be required to pay a fee totalling 10% of the excess value. These items are also restricted to items for personal use. If you have articles with a value greater than €1.500,- then you will be required to pay import tax.


- Other items
It is forbidden to bring mobile phones into Turkey as gifts.


On the website of the Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry Undersecretary of Customs a list of articles that travellers are permitted to bring into Turkey is published. Some examples: televisions with a monitor of max 21 inches, radios, laptops, a video game console, 10 cds, 10 cassette tapes, a walkie talkie, a tent, a tennis racket with 3 boxes of tennis balls, 5 decks of cards, a respirator, an automatic injector for diabetes patients, 2 thermos flasks etc.


You will also find a list of items on this website that require payment of a ‘banderole fee’. This list includes receivers for radio and television broadcasts, such as larger televisions, cameras, radios and satellite equipment. Each item is subject to an individual payment.

- Animals
You are permitted to bring 2 cats, dogs or birds or 10 aquarium fish with you, on condition that these are quarantined. You should be in possession of an EU passport, a declaration of good health, origin and vaccination proof for all animals. Your veterinarian can assist you with these documents.


- Vehicles
You can cross the border in Turkey by vehicle but your vehicle is not allowed to remain in the country for more than 180 days per year. Retired foreigners or those with a residence permit are permitted to have their vehicle in the country for a year. This requires written permission from the Turkish  Embassy or the Turkish Consulate. In order to re-enter Turkey with your vehicle you must have been out of the country for at least 6 months.


At the border crossing you must be able to provide evidence that your vehicle is insured for the duration of your stay in Turkey. If you are driving a car not your own, then you are required to have a legal document from the owner authorising you to drive the vehicle. The sale or lending of the vehicle is not permitted for the duration of your stay in Turkey.


If you leave the country temporarily wihout your vehicle you must leave your vehicle at the customs office.


If you are driving a rental car then you need to check the terms of the rental agreement. If you are in doubt you can request a copy, in Turkish, of the rental agreement. You may remain in Turkey for the duration of the rental agreement.


If you violate these regulations you may receive a fine. 



For Turkey, there is no mandatory vaccination but when in doubt always consult a doctor or health service. Certainly important, note hygiene and do not drink water from the tap! It is best to buying bottled water. The medical care in Turkey is well regarded, though a small travel pharmacy advisable. Think of painkillers, sunscreen, insect bite ointment, antilaxeermiddelen and plasters. Are you self-medication allow enough stock, and take an international drug passport with the substance name and dosage of the medication, so if necessary a doctor in Turkey the right prescription medications. Always ask for a bill of expenses incurred many insurances pay it back. (check the policy conditions).



Healthcare is jointly regulated with the SSK and private companies. The hospitals of the SSK = Sosyal Sigorta Kurumu, (Government body for social insurance) can be found everywhere but the equipment is mostly outdated. All other hospitals are privately owned and usually have the most modern equipment and offer a high standard of medical care. Treatments are usually covered by Dutch insurance companies. There are no long waiting lists like in the Netherlands so it is often very quick and efficiënt to be treated in a private hospital.


Photography and filming:

Unless otherwise indicated, photography and filming is allowed, but it is polite to ask permission beforehand. It is considered inappropriate to film or photograph people whilst they are praying or of woman in veils. It is forbidden to film or photograph military objects.



There is no problem using your own mobile in Turkey. but it is much cheaper to use a Turkish pre-paid telephone card. If your own mobile is sim lock free then you can use this pre-paid card in your own telephone. If you wish to ring the Netherlands from Turkey then you need to dial 0031 followed by the area code, without the first 0, and then the number. The vountry code for Belgium is 0031.



In practically all cities there are internet cafe's, where you can use the internet for between €0,60 cent and €1,20 per hour.



The Dolmus are minibuses that travel certain routes. These are cheap and a very convenient way to get around. All taxis use a taximeter, with a daily rate 'gündüz' and a more expensive nightly rate 'gece', that can only be used after midnight.


Time difference:

Turkey is 1 hour ahead of the Netherlands and Belgium, in the summertime and wintertime.


Flight time to Turkey:

The flight from Amsterdam to Antalya takes approx. 3,45 hours. The flying time to Bodrum, Dalaman or Istanbul is aprox. 3,5 hours.

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