Facts for the Visitor

US citizen: 65 € for a 3 month multiple-entry visa that's easily obtained at the port of entry.
Japanese citizen: No visa required, visitors permitted to stay 3 months.

Language Skills Needed
Although its possible to get by on English alone at hotels and bus stations, carrying a Turkish-English phrasebook or dictionary is highly recommended. The Turkish people are extremely friendly, and we invariably find ourselves in conversations with Turks who are limited in English to "What is your name?" and "Where are you from?" The Lonely Planet Turkish Phrasebook kept us communicating beyond simple introductions.

Cash Machines
Available in most cities, towns, and tourist resorts. Most are on the Plus and Cirrus networks. The usual maximum withdrawal using a foreign bank card is 200,000,000 TKL.

US$ 1 = 985,000 Turkish Lira (TKL) on March 21, 2001. US$1 = 1,280,000 TKL on April 13, 2001. US$1 = 1,650,000 TKL on September 12, 2002. The Turkish Lira devalues drastically several times per year, and inflation can be as high as 100% per annum.

220V, 50Hz. Plugs have 2 round pins.

International Certificates of Vaccination are not required.

Tipping is not required in the cheapest restaurants. At the more expensive restaurants, about 5% is given directly to the waiter, even if the bill includes a 10% or 15% service charge (which goes directly to the restaurant owner). Taxi drivers are not tipped, but the metered fare is normally rounded up. Hairdressers are tipped about 10% and their assistants about 5%. At a Turkish bath, a tip of about 20%-30% of the overall price is spread between everyone who assists you.

Accommodation in Turkey is primarily hotels and youth hostels. Apartments and rooms at private houses are difficult to find.

Public Telephones
There are 2 types of public telephone pre-paid cards: Türk Telekom and Telekart. There are many more Telekart phones than Türk Telekom phones around İstanbul. In smaller cities normally only Telekart phones can be found. Phone cards of either type for 30, 60, 100, 120, or 180 units can be purchased at post offices, and some shops and kiosks near public phone booths.

Public Transportation
The Turkish bus network is the best in the world. Buses are brand new Mercedes, seats have plenty of leg room, an attendant serves beverages at no extra charge, and the bus makes regular food / toilet stops at proper facilities. Bus schedules and fares are published. Often, especially during low tourist season, fares are discounted with a real or fake international student card, and sometimes just by asking for a lower price.

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