turkeyflag

Turkish Republic

Turkey

Turkey, exotic,colorful,many-faceted,romantic,ever-old,and ever-new is the gateway and to the fabled east.

Offical Holidays

Jan 1: New Year's Day

National Holidays
Apr 23: National Sovereignty and Children's Day (Anniversary of the establishment of Turkish Grand National Assembly)
May 19: Ataturk Commemoration and Youth & Sports Day (Arrival of Ataturk in Samsun, and the beginning of the War of Independence.)
Aug 30: Victory Day (Victory over invading forces in 1922)
Oct 29: Republic Day (Anniversary of the declaration of the Turkish Republic)

Religious Holidays
Seker Bayrami: Three-day festival to celebrate the end of the fasting month; Ramadan.
Kurban Bayrami: Four-day festival when sacrificial sheep are slaughtered and their meat distributed to the poor.

(The dates of these religious festivals change because of the difference between the Muslim lunar calendar and solar calendar.)

Fairs, Festivals & Events

January
Camel Wrestling Festival-Selcuk

March
Ankara International Film Festival-Ankara
1915 Sea Victory Celebration-Canakkale

April
Istanbul International Film Festival-Istanbul
International Children's Day-Ankara (April 23)
Tourism Fair-Gaziantep

April-May
Selcuk Efes Culture & Art Festival - Izmir (May 1-8)
Tulip Festival-Istanbul
Javelin Games-Erzurum
Ankara International Arts Festival

May
International Nysa Culture and Arts Festival-Sultanhisar
Efes International Festival of Culture and Tourism-Selcuk
Yunus Emre Culture and Art Week-Eskisehir
Aksu Culture and Art Festival-Giresun
International Music and Folklore Festival-Silifke
International Yatching Festival-Marmaris
International Kilim Festival, Usak-Esme
Kakava Festivities-Kirklareli

May-June
International Asia-Europe Biennial-Ankara

June
Rug and Rose Festival-Isparta (June 1-7)
Pamukkale Festival (June 3-5)
Amasya Ataturk Cultured Art Ceremony-Amasya (June 12-19)
Wooden Horse Children's Festival - Canakkale
Traditional Mesir Ceremonies - Aksehir (June 20-23)
Kirkpinar Wrestling - Edirne (2nd week of June)
Bartin Strawberry Festival-Bartin
International Tea Festival-Rize
International Offshore Races Istanbul-Izmir
Foca Music, Folklore and Watersports Festival-Foca
Marmaris Festival-Marmaris
Bergama Festival-Bergama
Kafkasor Culture and Art Festival-Artvin
International Kus Cenneti Culture and Tourism Festival-Bandirma
Cesme Sea and Music Festival-Cesme
International Pamukkale Song Competition
International Kahta Komagene Festival
International Volleyball Beach Tournament-Alanya
Finike Festival
International Wine Competition-Urgup
Tekirdag Cherry Festival

June-July
International Izmir Festival
International Bursa Festival
Istanbul International Art and Culture Festival-Istanbul
Traditional Kirkpinar Wrestling-Edirne
International Music Festival-Istanbul
Ihlara Tourism and Art Week-Aksaray

July
Hodja Nasreddin Ceremonies - Aksehir (July 5-10)
Hadji Bektashi Veli Ceremonies - Hacibektas (July 13-18)
Apricot Festival (July 20-22)
International Erzurum Congress-Erzurum
Tourism and Culture Festival-Iskenderun
International Folk Dance Festival-Samsun
Ceramic Festival-Kutahya
Hittite Festival-Corum
Manavgat Tourism Festival
Kusadasi Tourism Festival
Carpet and Rose Festival-Isparta
Egridir Lake Festival
Nevsehir Festival
Devrek Baston and Culture Festival
Avanos International Handcrafts and Pottery Exhibit

August
Troy Festival-Canakkale
Insuyu Festival-Burdur
Haci Bektas Veli Commemoration Ceremony-Sogut
Mengen Chefs Festival-Bolu
Pine Grove Ayder Mt. and Archery Festivities - Rize

September
Golden Apple, Silver & Bronze - Isparta (September 2-7) Golden Nut Ceremonies - Ordu (September 22-24)
Izmir International Fair-Izmir
Ertugurul Gazi Commemoration Ceremony-Sogut
Seyh Edibali'i Commemoration and Culture Festival-Bilecik
GAP Culture and art Festival-Gaziantep
Javelin Games-Konya
Kemer Carnival
International Meerschaum (White Gold) Festival-Eskisehir
Safranbolu Architectural Treasures and Folklore Week-Safranbolu
Sivas Congress Culture and Art Week-Sivas
International Grape Harvest Festival-Urgup
International Fair-Mersin
Yagci Bedir Carpet Festival-Sindirgi, Balikesir
Culture and Art Festival-Diyarbakir
Assos International Art Festival
Adana Altin Koza Film Festival

Sept-October
Eskisehir International Festival
Golden Pistachio Festival-Gaziantep
International Plastic Arts Festival
International Akdeniz Song Contest-Akdeniz
Mersin art and Culture Festival

October
Golden Orange Festival - Antalya (October 13)
Ahi Brotherhood Cultural Week
International Bodrum Cup
International Gullet Biennial-Bozburun
International Triathlon Competition-Alanya
International Ataturk Dam Sailing Competition-Alanya

November
International Yacht Race-Marmaris

December
Santa Clause Festival - Kas/Demre (December 24)
Pine Nut Festival - Gaziantep (December 25)
Mevlana Commemoration Ceremony-Konya

Travel Tips

Passport & Visas
A visa is required for citizens of Austria, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain and Italy. This can be obtained at your port of entry.

Money
The currency unit used is Turkish Lira. There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought in. Credit cards are welcome in most hotels, restaurants, and major stores. In rural areas, however, they may not be accepted. Traveler's cheques can also be easily cashed at any bank and most stores. Foreign currency can be changed in banks and also exchange offices.

Working Hours
European standards apply. Monday to Friday are the working days, Saturday and Sunday are the week-end holidays, but on Saturdays most of the stores stay open. During the religious and secular holidays government, private offices, banks, and major stores are closed.

Offices and Banks
Monday to Friday : 8.30 am-12.00 pm, 1.00 pm - 5.00 pm

Museums
Closed on Mondays.

Topkapi Palace & St. Chora Museum
Closed on Tuesdays.

Dolmabahce Palace
Closed on Thursdays.

Post & Telecommunications
Postal and telecommunications services in Turkey are handled by the PTT (Directorate of Post, Telephone and Telegraph). The PTT offers many different services: express and parcel mail, registered mail, telegram, facsimile and telex. Short or long distance phone calls, can be made from the PTT or you can purchase tokens and phone-cards for use in public phones.

Time
Turkish time is 2 hours ahead of GMT and 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard time, except in the warm months when clocks are turned one hour ahead.

Water & Food
You can buy bottled spring water everywhere in different sized clear plastic bottles. Tap water is highly chlorinated and good for general use. Turkish cuisine offers you a wide variety, of delicious food.

Climate & What to Wear
The climate of Turkey has a specialty of its own. Because of the difference in altitude all four seasons can be seen in Turkey. Ask your travel agent what to expect. At all times of the year, you are expected to observe the proper respect for any place of worship (like the mosques) by covering both the shoulders and legs, and in the case of women the hair.

Tips for Shopping

High quality craftsmanship in areas such as carpet, leather and jewellery make Turkey a shopping paradise. Among the items that attract the attention of tourists are gold and silver products, semi-precious stones such as lapis, onyx, turquoise, pottery and ceramics, copper, inlaid wood, meerschaum.

Touristic Map

Video