In Istanbul and around the sea of Marmara the climate is moderate. In winter 4 degrees celcius and summer 27 degrees celcius (39 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit) . In Western Turkey there is a mild Mediterranean climate with average temperatures of 9 degrees celcius in winter and 29 degrees celcius in summer. On the southern coast the same climate can be found. The climate of the Anatolian Plateau is a steppe climate (there is a great temperature difference between day and night). Rainfall is low and there is more snow. The average temperature is 23 degrees celcius in summer and -2 in winter. The climate in the Black Sea area is wet, warm and humid (summer 23, winter 7). In Eastern Anatolia and South-Eastern Anatolia there is a long hard winter, where year after year snow falls from November until the end of April (the average temperature in winter is -13 and in summer 17 degrees celcius).
Turkish Customs and Etiquette
Turks are extremely patriotic. They are proud of their ancestors and of the achievements of their modern society. The family is the most important social unit. Each person is dependent upon and loyal to the family. Rural life is still traditional, but in cities women frequently work outside the home.
Meeting and Greeting
Shake hands with everyone present–men, women and children–at a business or social meeting. Shake hands with elders first. Shake hands again when leaving. It is common for Turkish men and women to cheek-kiss one another when meeting and parting.
Turks generally have a small area of personal space and may stand closer than most foreigners are used to. Never point the sole of your foot toward a person. Turks, most of whom are devout Muslims, may avoid looking into your eyes in a display of humble behavior. Do not stand with your hands on your hips when talking to others, especially older people or superiors, or put your hands in your pockets.
For business, men should wear conservative suits or a sports coat and tie. In very hot weather, men may go without a jacket, but they still wear a tie. Women should wear suits, dresses and heels. Avoid short skirts, low-cut blouses or shorts.
Gift Giving Etiquette
Always bring the hostess a gift when invited to someone’s home. Do not bring a gift that is too lavish. Give: flowers (roses or carnations), candy, chocolates, wine (if host drinks). Do not give alcohol if you are not sure whether your host drinks. Don’t expect your hostess to open a gift when presented. Gifts may be exchanged in business. Give gifts made in America that are not expensive, i.e. crystal, desk accessories, pens, gifts with company logo. Do not give overly personal gifts.
Lesser Personal Space
Personal space tends to be quite small and this may be quite disturbing to foreigners. The generally accepted sufficient amount of space when speaking with acquaintances and colleagues is an arm’s length. When it comes to family and close friends though, this personal space becomes considerably smaller and a certain amount of touching occurs.
|FAMOUS FOOD OF TURKEY||FAMOUS INDIAN CUISINE|
|Generally made of rice, but also of bulgur (cracked wheat) and sehriye (vermicelli), pilaf (pilav) is one of the mainstays of the Turkish table. The rice should not be sticky but separate into individual grains. The pilaf may include aubergines, chick peas, beans or peas. Although pilaf is traditionally a course in its own right, in recent years it has appeared as a garnish with meat and chicken dishes at many restaurants.||Binbirdirek Mah. Peykhane Sok. | No.15/17 Çemberlitas, , Istanbul|
|2. Borek||Musafir Indian Restaurant|
|Thinly rolled pastry, often the paper thin variety known as yufka, is wrapped around various savory fillings or arranged in layers . The myriad types of börek are unmatched delicacies when cooked to perfection. Boreks can be fried, baked, cooked on a griddle or boiled. Traditionally it was said that no girl should marry until she had mastered the art of börek making. Preferred fillings are cheese, minced meat, spinach and potatoes. In the form of rolls filled with cheese or minced meat mixtures and fried, böreks are known as “Sigara (cigarette) boregi”. Böreks should be light and crisp, without a trace of excess oil.||Receppasa Caddesi 7 – C Talimhane – Beyoglu | Taksim, Istanbul|
|3. Doner Kebap||Taj-Mahal Indian Restaurant|
|Slices of marinated lamb on a tall vertical spit and grilled as it slowly turns are delicious. The cooked parts of the cone of meat are cut in very thin slices by a huge sword-like knife, and arranged on a plate with Ace or flat pide (pitta) bread. This dish is the most formidable obstacle to the victory of the hamburger in the fast food market. Doner kebap in rolls with slices of pickle and chips is the most common stand-up lunch for city office workers.||Asmali Mescit Mah. Nergis Sok. No:4/A Beyoglu | Tunel, Istanbul|
|4. Kofte||Dubb Indian Restaurant|
|The diverse köftes of all shapes and sizes are a culinary world of their own. Finely minced meat mixed with spices, onions and other ingredients is shaped by hand, and grilled, fried, boiled or baked. Koftes are named according to the cooking method, ingredients or shape.||Incili Cavus Sk No 10, Alemdar Mahallesi,Istanbul|
|Public Holidays 2015|
|1-Jan||Thursday||New Year’s Day|
|23-Apr||Thursday||National Independence & Children’s Day|
|Clinics & Hospitals||Address||Telephone|
|Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Hospital||Cerrahpasa Caddesi, Cerrahpasa, Istanbul||0212 414 3000|
|Etfal State Hospital||Etfal Sokak No:10,Sisli, Istanbul||0212 231 2209|
|Marmara University Hospital||Tophanelioglu Caddesi 13/15
|0216 327 1010|
|Bursa Private Konur Hospital||Zubeyde Hanim Cad. No:12/2 Cekirge, Bursa||0224 233 9340|
Aspendos boasts one of the best preserved ancient theatres of antiquity. The theatre of Aspendos was build in 155 AD during the rule of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius and could seat between 15,000 and 20,000 spectators. Because the stage area was later used as a caravanserai (a roadside inn) in Seljuk times, it was continuously repaired and maintained. Thus, the Aspendos Theatre has been able to survive to this days without losing almost any of its original qualities.
Pamukkale, meaning “cotton castle” in Turkish, is an unreal landscape in western Turkey, famous for its white terraces. The terraces are made of travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by water with a very high mineral content from the hot springs. People have bathed in its pools for thousands of years. The ancient Greek city of Hierapolis was built on top of the hot springs by the kings of Pergamon. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site.
At 14 kilometers (9 miles), Patara is one of the longest stretches of sandy beach found anywhere in the Mediterranean. The beach is backed only by ancient Lycian and Roman ruins and swooping dunes with no buildings visible except of a small café. Patara Beach is also the breeding ground of the endangered Loggerhead turtle. The nearby village of Patara was the birthplace of St Nicholas, the 4th-century Byzantine bishop who later passed into legend as Santa Claus.
With its six minarets and sweeping architecture the Sultan Ahmed or Blue Mosque in Istanbul impresses from the outside. While still used as a mosque, the Blue Mosque has also become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Istanbul. It was built between 1609 and 1616 and like many other mosques contains the tomb of the founder. Inside the mosque, the high ceiling is lined with the 20,000 blue tiles with different patterns that give the mosque its popular name.
Located in Istanbul, the Hagia Sophia was originally a basilica constructed for the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I in the sixth century. A masterwork of Roman engineering, the massive dome (31 meters or 102 feet in diameter) covers what was for over 1000 years the largest enclosed space in the world. The church was looted by the fourth Crusaders in 1204, and became a mosque in the 15th century when The Ottomans conquered the city.
Not to be missed, the mighty ruin of Ephesus is a city of colossal monuments and marble-columned roads. One of the most complete, still-standing Roman cities, this is the place to experience what life must have been like during the golden age of the Roman Empire.
India is 2 hours and 30 minutes ahead of Turkey
Official Currency-“Turkish Lira”
Spring and autumn, from April to May and from September to mid November respectively, are the ideal times to visit Istanbul and the inland regions when temperatures are pleasant and the skies are clear. Istanbul’s location near the sea means it can be quite a windy city, especially in the winter.
The Aegean and Mediterranean coasts both enjoy a typical Mediterranean climate characterised by mild winters and hot summers, which makes the beach resorts of Marmaris and Kusadasi popular year-round destinations. The majority of rainfall occurs in winter along the coast so the summer months remain hot and dry, perfect for topping up that tan.
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Know a Little Turkish– Outside of the major cities, not many people speak English in Turkey. Even within Istanbul, it is not easy to find an English speaker.
Cover up– Wherever you chose to travel to in Turkey, you should be aware of the proper dress etiquette. If you are male, don’t wear shorts when you visit a mosque, unless you want to walk around it clad in a skirt. The skirt will be provided at the door, and you won’t be allowed to enter until you have donned it!
Don’t bring too many clothes from home. Buy them there. It is inexpensive, especially if you discuss the price and bargain. Wear the clothes you would normally wear in your own country, as you will see the same amount of variety in Turkey
Take some ‘water shoes’ as many of the beaches are rocky. Wear flat shoes for walking, and watch where you are walking. The sidewalks are often not only uneven, but also broken, with lots of unexpected holes.
Summer in Turkey can be tricky to pack for, somewhat like the higher Indian Himalayas. The sun is strong and harsh, but stepping in the shade could leave you cold. Dress in layers, so you can add or remove one as necessary, and pack lots of sunscreen, a sun hat and shades.
Carry cash, in different currencies– The easiest currencies to convert into Turkish Lira are US dollars and Euro and change offices offer the best rates. You will get a better rate of exchange for cash than for travelers cheques. We found that the exchange places charged a commission for travelers cheques, but not for changing cash.
If you are planning to be in Turkey for more than a few days, convert your money a little at a time. Inflation is high in Turkey (50% in 1999) and you will be surprised by the changes a week in exchange rates can bring. If you purchase your visa at your point of entry have cash. They do not take traveler’s checks, credit cards or Turkish lira.
Estimate a budget and stick to it– Travelling within Turkey could be almost as expensive as a Euro Trip, unless you impose a budget upon yourself. As a rule of thumb, it is cheaper to pay (and to be charged) in Turkish Liras than in Euros, and bargaining is hardly uncommon.
Use public transport-Public transport in Istanbul is quite convenient, and all journeys by bus, tram or metro are priced at 2 TL, irrespective of the distance you go. Cabs are easily available past midnight, when public transport stops operating, and levy no late night charges.
Drink bottled water and in restaurants make sure the bottle is unopened when it is brought to the table. Refuse it if it isn’t.
Turkey Travel Dont’s
DON’T show disrespect for the name or image of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish Republic, or insult the Turkish government, flag, or military, as it is illegal to do so.
DON’T point at people with your finger, or give the “okay” sign, as both are considered rude. The latter, is considered particularly obscene.
DON’T show the bottoms of your feet, as this is considered an insult.
DON’T stand with your hands on your hips or in your pockets.
DON’T eat with your left hand, as the left hand is considered unclean in Muslim culture.
DON’T give alcohol as a gift, as drinking is not as common among the people of Turkey.
DON’T be offended by others smoking at a meal, because it is common to do so in Turkey.
Turkey Travel Do’s
DO try to eat everything on your plate when served food. It may be offensive if you do not.
DO place your fork and knife together on your plate to signify you are done with your meal.
DO pay for the meal if you extended the invitation. It is not usual to split meals in Turkey. If someone invites you to a meal, invite them to one later.
DO keep eye contact with those you are speaking with. Turks see eye contact as a sign of honesty.
DO be punctual for meetings and events.
DO give flowers as a gift, such as roses or carnations.