TURKEY, DISCOVER THE POTENTIAL
Come to Turkey, the other half of your soul is here. Turkey, discover the potential.
ALL ABOUT TURKEY
Turkey is a modern country with a captivating blend of antiquity and contemporary and of East and West. Get interesting information about Turkey and read up on our history, culture and art, nature and geography, traditional culinary culture, real Turkish lifestyle and more. All you need to know about Turkey and beyond.
The very first thing you need to do when choosing for your trip, Turkey – is to check if you need a visa?
LIFESTYLE IN TURKEY
Turkish lifestyle is a vivid mosaic, juxtaposing the West and the East, the modern and the ancient. Also life in Turkey is a rich variety of cultures and traditions, some dating back centuries and others or more recent heritage. Any visitor to Turkey will find a great deal that is exotic, and much that is reassuringly familiar. The surprising blend of East and West makes up the Turkish lifestyle.
HOSPITALITY IN TURKEY
The mentality of Turkish hospitality is whatever religion you are from, whichever country you come from, whatever language you speak, you are God’s Guest.
TRADITIONAL TURKISH HOSPITALITY
Visitors to Turkey are often pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of the Turkish people, who will go out of their way to assist and happily spend time chatting.
Hospitality is a cornerstone of Turkish culture, and Turkish people believe that visitors should be treated as Guests sent by God. This attitude has survived to the 21st century and does not appear to have been diminished by mass tourism. In fact, quite the reverse, most Turks welcome the opportunity to meet foreign visitors, learn about different cultures and practice their language skills.
It is usual for Turkish people even the men to greet each other by kissing on both cheeks. As a tradition, Turkish people treat their national flag as sacred. Therefore, one should avoid insulting or showing disrespect to the Turkish flag. Experience that how Turkish people friendly and lovely as well as the great history in Turkey.
Family relations are very nice within Turkish people. They respect their older and support each other in every way. Parents do support their children financially until they get married. When the child get married the financial support may continue but it is expected that the new family could earn enough and manage their livings. Children do care very much about their older. They take care of their older and support them when they get old or sick both financially and mentally. This relation is a kind of boomerang, older support children when they are young, children support their elder when they are old.
RELIGION IN TURKEY
Turkey has been home to all three great revealed religions Islam, Judaism and Christianity for centuries. Turkey is also the only Islamic country which is a secular state.
ISLAM IN TURKEY
Turkey is a secular state with no official state religion and is in fact the only secular Islamic country in the world where religion has no place in the running of the state. The majority of the Turkish population is Muslim but in Turkey religion is strictly a private affair as with other European countries. However, the call for prayer can be heard five times a day and there are two Islamic festivals in the country alongside the secular national holidays: Seker Bayrami at the end of Ramadan, and Kurban Bayrami.
There are also Christian and Jewish minorities throughout the country. The constitution guarantees freedom of religion and the right to worship. During the time of the Ottoman Empire, people of many different faiths lived in what is now Turkey, and since that time, this diversity has been preserved. Today there are 236 churches and 34 synagogues open for worship in Turkey.
The weekly holiday is Sunday and there is no dress code, except for when visiting a mosque. The only time when you need to worry about dress code is when visiting a mosque in Turkey. Everyone should wear clothes which cover their legs, so no shorts for either sex, and women should also make sure that their shoulders and head are covered. Shoes should be removed before entering a mosque. Mosques are usually closed to visitors during prayer times. As in any place of worship, visitors should speak quietly and behave respectfully.
LANGUAGE IN TURKEY
Turkish is spoken by over 200 million people and is the world’s 7th most widely used language, out of over 4000. Some 70 other languages and dialects are also spoken in Turkey.
Turkish has evolved from dialects known since the 11th century and is one of the group of languages known as Ural-Altaic which includes Finnish and Hungarian. It can be quite difficult to get to grips with Turkish. Words sound unfamiliar and even the way they are written appears strange. The key, however, is the Turkish version of the Latin alphabet, the same one which is used for English with the addition of 6 different characters. Turkish is unusual in that it is completely phonetic, each letter of the alphabet has only one sound, so each word sounds exactly how it is written.
During Ottoman times Turkish was written in Arabic script, which few people could write, so in 1928, Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic decided to switch to the new alphabet to improve levels of literacy.
DO I NEED TO KNOW TURKISH?
No, but if you can speak a little bit Turkish probably Turkish people will be so happy and friendly. Learn some basic Turkish words and phrases before you travel. English is Turkey’s second widest spoken language and you will easily find English speakers in the major cities and holiday resorts. Restaurant menus and other information for foreigners are often printed in English.
TURKEY’S MODERN AND TRADITIONAL FASHION
Turkish clothing is an important part of our rich culture. Find out more about the modern Turkish fashion, national costumes, typical village clothing, Turkish fashion designers, and international fashion fairs.
MODERN TURKISH FASHION
Modern Turkey has a little of everything. It is made up of bustling cosmopolitan centers, farming villages, beautiful Aegean, Mediterranean and Black Sea coastlines, and steep mountain regions. More than 70% of Turkish people lives in urban areas. Western lifestyles and traditional ways of life coexist. Females are wearing short dresses, maxi style dresses, shorts, miniskirts, skirts, and many different types of trousers. Flip fops, sandals and flats are the preferred shoe styles. Hats are worn for protection from the sun and the big bag is very popular because you can get tons of stuff in it like sunscreen and camera. Stripes, prints, florals, and polka dots are all over the fashions and Turkish women love color, ruffles, and shine.
TURKISH NATIONAL COSTUMES
Yasmak, Islak, Fes, Salvar, Yelek, Cepken, and Entari are some of the old national costumes in Turkey.
Traditional clothing forms a part of Turkish traditional culture. In the past the Turks would weave their own clothing and make dyes from natural plant ingredients, in a way that reflected their feelings in the designs they created. Today each region has its own characteristics in the way of clothing, headwear, scarves and socks, which have all, attractive interest and admiration.
MORE ABOUT TURKEY
Learn all about what the weather is like, useful Turkish words and phrases, general information and statistics.
TURKEY’S WEATHER AND CLIMATE CONDITIONS
Turkey has a Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunshine, mild temperatures and a limited amount of rainfall. It is said that all of the four seasons exist in Turkey.
SPRING SEASON IN TURKEY
Spring season (March, April, May) is very well for visiting Turkey to experience beautiful nature, local life, mild temperatures and smaller crowds.
Spring is a very nice season to travel to Turkey, if you are looking to experience unique natural environments, mild and fresh temperatures, local life and smaller crowds, competitively priced hotels and services. Maybe April can be rainy, but this is high season for Turkey’s popular destinations, with many boutique hotels fully booked, and prices at their highest. Spring is off season for Aegean and Mediterranean beach resorts.
SPRING IN TURKEY
Spring season in Turkey (March, April, May) is prime because the weather is moderate throughout the country and the days are long.
AVERAGE SPRING TEMPERATURES
April: Antalya (16 °C), Izmir (16 °C), Istanbul (12 °C), Ankara (11 °C), Trabzon (11 °C), Erzurum (5 °C), Diyarbakir (14 °C)
May: Antalya (20 °C), Izmir (20 °C), Istanbul (16 °C), Ankara (16 °C), Trabzon (15 °C), Erzurum (11 °C), Diyarbakir (19 °C)
SUMMER SEASON IN TURKEY
Summer season (June, July, August) is the highest season for visiting Turkey to experience warm summer temperatures, swimming, sun bathing, seaside restaurants and rich nightlife.
Summer is the highest season to travel to Turkey, if you are looking to experience warm summer temperatures, swimming, life in full swing, afternoon naps on a comfortable sun lounger, dinners at seaside restaurants or summer garden terraces and rich nightlife. Please note that the holiday resorts are high priced in summer season. Seaside resorts are crowded and prices are at their peak, but the cities are less so, with smaller crowds and shorter lines for admission to sights. Cappadocia is cheaper and more comfortable as well.
SUMMER IN TURKEY
Summer season in Turkey (June, July, August) is quite hot in five of Turkey’s seven distinct climatic regions, though usually rainless, and cool inland in the evenings.
AVERAGE SUMMER TEMPERATURES
June: Antalya (26 °C), Izmir (25 °C), Istanbul (21 °C), Ankara (20 °C), Trabzon (20 °C), Erzurum (15 °C), Diyarbakir (26 °C)
July: Antalya (29 °C), Izmir (28 °C), Istanbul (23 °C), Ankara (23 °C), Trabzon (22 °C), Erzurum (19 °C), Diyarbakir (31 °C)
August: Antalya (29 °C), Izmir (28 °C), Istanbul (23 °C), Ankara (23 °C), Trabzon (22 °C), Erzurum (20 °C), Diyarbakir (31 °C)
AUTUMN SEASON IN TURKEY
Autumn season (September, October, November) is very nice for visiting Turkey to experience discovering historical sites, comfortable temperatures, local life and unique nature.
Autumn is a very good season to travel to Turkey, if you are looking to experience discovering historical sites in depth, mild and comfortable temperatures, competitively priced hotels and services, smaller crowds and local life, unique natural environments. This is high season for Turkey’s popular destinations, with many boutique hotels heavily booked at their highest prices. Autumn is one of the best seasons to visit Turkey. At beach resorts, the water is still warm, crowds are smaller, and prices lower.
AUTUMN IN TURKEY
Autumn season in Turkey (September, October, November) is second best with mostly mild weather, but the days are shorter, and rain may begin again in October.
AVERAGE AUTUMN TEMPERATURES
September: Antalya (25 °C), Izmir (23 °C), Istanbul (20 °C), Ankara (18 °C), Trabzon (19 °C), Erzurum (15 °C), Diyarbakir (25 °C)
October: Antalya (20 °C), Izmir (18 °C), Istanbul (16 °C), Ankara (13 °C), Trabzon (15 °C), Erzurum (19 °C), Diyarbakir (17 °C)
November: Antalya (15 °C), Izmir (15 °C), Istanbul (12 °C), Ankara (8 °C), Trabzon (12 °C), Erzurum (20 °C), Diyarbakir (10 °C)
AVERAGE DAYTIME TEMPERATURES
Check the average daytime temperatures in Turkey. Turkey is such a large country with diverse terrain that the climate varies greatly from one region to another.
AEGEAN, MARMARA, MEDITERRANEAN
Marmara, Aegean and Mediterranean coasts of Turkey display a typical Mediterranean climate of hot summers and mild winters, though Istanbul can have some very cold snaps with snow in the winter. July and August are the hottest months with temperatures around 30°C with quite high humidity during the summer months. Temperatures increase a few degrees when travelling to the south and water temperatures also become warmer. The swimming season is from June to September along the Marmara and north Aegean coasts, while it is from April to October on the south Aegean and Mediterranean coasts.
There is quite a difference between the climate of the coastal and the inland regions which tend to be at higher altitudes. The Turkish weather reaches its extremes in central and eastern Anatolia and the Eastern parts of the country, with hot, dry summers when the temperatures may reach 42°C, and freezing, snowy winters. Thus spring and autumn are best for sightseeing and travelling in this part of the country. In the mountainous and Eastern regions of Turkey, the summers become milder and the winters harsher – temperatures can drop as low as -30°C to -38°C and snow may lay on the ground for around four months, making them ideal for winter sports.
Black Sea has a comparatively moderate climate; the summers are warm and winters are mild. Rainfall is also heavier here than in any other region. The swimming season is from June to early September though the weather is not so dependable.
GET TO KNOW TURKEY
Turkey is a vast country, with a dramatic landscape as varied as its history, spectacular coastline, untouched nature, unique historical places and lovely culture. Get to know facts, general statistics and more about Turkey.
FACTS ABOUT TURKEY
General information on facts about Turkey, population, national anthem, founder, system of goverment, head of goverment, language, currency, capital city, religion, area, coastal length, coastal borders, time zone and more.
Official Name: Republic of Turkey
National Anthem: Istiklal Marsi (Independence March)
Founder: Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
System of Goverment: Republican parliamentary democracy
Prime Minister: Binali Yildirim
President: Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Area: 783.562 square kilometres
Coastal Length: 7.200 km
Coastal Borders: Mediterranean Sea at south, Aegean Sea at west, Black Sea at north
Population: 74.724.000 (31 December 2011)
Capital City: Ankara
Religion: Muslim 99%
Neighboring Countries: Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Iraq, Armenia, Iran, Syria
Currency: Turkish Lira (TL) 1TL = 100 kr
Number of Cities: 81
Victory Day: 30 August
Rebuplic Day: 29 October
Largest Cities: Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana, Antalya, Konya, Bursa, Kayseri, Samsun, Trabzon, Erzurum, Eskisehir, Kocaeli, Diyarbakir, Sakarya, Mersin, Gaziantep
Lifestyle: Turkish lifestyle is a vivid mosaic; juxtaposing the Occident and the Orient, the ancient and the modern.
Hospitality: Hospitality is a cornerstone of Turkish culture, and Turks believe that visitors should be treated as Guests sent by God.
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine is renowned as one of the world’s best.
Weather: It is said that all of the four seasons exist in Turkey.
Tourism: Turkey has so much to offer her visitors, therefore this country has recently become one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations.
Time Zone: GMT +3 hours (April-September) GMT +2 hours (October-March), CET +1
For further information please visit the official website of Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
DID YOU KNOW?
How much information you have about Turkey? Turkey is a land of contrasts bringing together a mixture of East and West has so much to offer her visitors.
- Istanbul is the only city in the world located on two continents, Europe and Asia.
- Catalhoyuk is known as one of the earliest settlements in the Neolithic Age.
- Two of the world’s seven wonders are located in Bodrum, Turkey; Temple of Artemis, Halicarnassus Mausoleum.
- Virgin Mary in Selcuk, is a very popular pilgrimage site for Christians.
- Delicious reputation of the Turkish coffee spread all around Europe in the 17th century.
- The word turquoise comes from Turk, meaning Turkish, and was derived from the perfect blue of the Mediterranean Sea on the southern Turkish coast.
- The world’s greatest mosaic museum is Zeugma and second greatest mosaic museum is Antakya in Turkey.
- The most valuable silk carpet in the world is in the Mevlana Museum in Turkey.
- Church of St.Peter is widely considered to be one of the earliest Christian houses of worship.
- Anatolia is the birthplace of many historical figures such as Phrygian King Midas, Herodotus and St.Paul.
- Yoghurt is one of the healthiest foods in existence and is derived from the original Turkish Yogurt.
- St.Nicholas was born in Patara and served as the Bishop of Myra on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey.
- Mugla has the longest coast in Turkey, streching from Bodrum to Fethiye and beyond.
- According to the Legend of Great Flood told in both the Quran and the Old Testament, Noah’s Ark landed on Mount Agri in eastern Anatolia.
- The seven churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation; Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea are all found in Turkey.
- Tulips were first introduced to Europe by the Ottomans and quickly became all the rage over there.
- Troy where the Trojan wars recounted in Iliad by Homeros of Smyrna were fought is situated in a small village Tevfikiye of Canakkale in western Turkey.
- One of the first most accurate world maps were drawn by the well known Turkish cartographer and navigator Piri Reis in 1513.
- Sanliurfa is known to be the City of the Prophets where Prophet Abraham, Prophet Job, Prophet Elijah and Prophet Jacob lived.
- Gobeklitepe Temple complex in southeast Turkey, is the oldest ancient temple built by mankind anywhere in the world.
- Kayseri derives its name from Augustus Caesar, when it was called Caesaris.
- The first coinage in human history began in Anatolia.
- 300 years ago somebody flew from Galata Tower in Istanbul.
- Turkey is one of the world’s largest yacht manufacturers.
TURKEY’S GENERAL STATISTICS
Learn more about general statistics of Turkey and detailed statistics for Turkish tourism. Population, universities, mobile phone users, international tourists, airports, bed capacity, travel agencies, tourism centers, marinas and more.
- A population of 73.722.988
- Average age of population : 28.5
- 190 universities, 114 of which are public and 76 of which are foundation universities
- Internet access per household : % 47.2
- 73 million mobile phone users
- 27 national, 16 regional and 229 local TV channels
- Non-permament member of the United Nations Security Council 2009-2010
- A candidate for the European Union since 2005
- A member of United Nations since 1945
- A member of Unesco since 1945
- A member of Council of Europe since 1949
- A member of Nato since 1952
- Turkey’s negotiation process with the EU began on October 3th 2005
- Number of 3G mobile phone subscribers : 64.300.000
- Number of mobile internet users : 39.100.000
- Number of internet subscribers : 48.600.000
- 35 millions of international tourist arrivals
- 25 billion $ of tourism receipts (without citizen visitors)
- 55 airports with annual 50-million- passenger capacity
- 21 airports open to international flights
- 1.000.000-bed capacity
- 16 airlines carrying passengers with scheduled ve nonscheduled navigations
- Turkish Airlines with 306 planes, one of the youngest fleet in Europe
- 39 Marinas with 50.000-yacht capacity
- 9000 Licensed Tourist Guides
- 7198 travel agencies
- An amazing historical heritage of civilisations, 5522 recorded archaeological sites under protection
- 436 beaches and 22 marinas with blue flag since 2015
- 34 Thermal Tourism Centers in 17 Provinces
- 27 Winter Sports Tourism Centers
- 28 Highland Tourism Centers in 10 Provinces
- 40 official National Parks
- 31 official Natural Protection Areas
- More than 300 wetland areas
- 23 Clubs and hotels with golf fields
MOST USEFUL TURKISH WORDS
Learn some basic Turkish words and phrases before you travel to Turkey. You will be surprised how useful they will be every day during your travels. Here is the list of Turkish words and phrases that can be used to begin a basic conversation while you are in Turkey.
USEFUL TURKISH WORDS
Yes = Evet
No = Hayır
Thank you = Teşekkürler
Please = Lütfen
Excuse me = Pardon
Hello = Merhaba
Goodbye = Hoşçakal
I do not understand = Anlamıyorum
Where is …? = Nerede …?
How much is the fare? = Bilet kaç lira?
One ticket to …, please. = Bir bilet …, lütfen
Train = Tren
Bus = Otobüs
Underground/tube/metro = Metro
Tram = Tramvay
Train station = Tren istasyonu
Bus station = Otobüs terminali
Airport = Havaalanı
I would like to buy… = Satın almak istiyorum…
How much does this cost? = Ne kadar ediyor?
Do you have…? = Var mı…?
Do you accept credit cards? = Kredi kartı kabul ediyor musunuz?
Tourist Information = Turist Danışma
Police station = Karakol
Hospital = Hastane
Store/shop = Mağaza
NUMBERS AND CALENDAR
One = Bir
Two = İki
Three = Üç
Four = Dört
Five = Beş
Six = Altı
Seven = Yedi
Eight = Sekiz
Nine = Dokuz
Ten = On
Day = Gün
Week = Hafta
Month = Ay
Year = Yıl
Today = Bugün
Yesterday = Dün
Tomorrow = Yarın
Monday = Pazartesi
Tuesday = Salı
Wednesday = Çarşamba
Thursday = Perşembe
Friday = Cuma
Saturday = Cumartesi
Sunday = Pazar
A as in star
E as in tell
İ as in see
I as in plus
O as in phone
Ö as in fur
U as in blue
Ü as in tu
C as in Jimmy
Ç as in church
G as in gentle
H as in high
J as in azure
S as in stress
Ş as in show
Special Turkish pronunciations:
â faint ‘yee’ sound following preceding consonant, as in Kâhta (kee-YAHH-tah)
Ğ with a little curved line over it: not pronounced; lengthens preceding vowel slightly.
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